The Yankees lost a close, well-pitched game to the Cardinals who, disturbingly, wore their red home caps on the road. Final score 4-3.
Bubba Crosby CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Jason Giambi DH
Gary Sheffield RF
Hideki Matsui LF
Andy Phillips 1B
Kelly Stinnett C
Felix Escalona SS
Miguel Cairo 3B
Subs: Eric Duncan 1B, Kevin Howard 2B, Ramiro Pena SS, Marcos Vechionacci 3B, Wil Nieves C, Kevin Thompson RF, Kevin Reese CF, Melky Cabrera LF, Mitch Jones DH, Ben Davis PH, Shelley Duncan PH
Pitchers: Randy Johnson, Mariano Rivera, Kyle Farnsworth, Tanyon Sturtze, Mike Myers
Big Hits: Just a solo homer by Robinson Cano (2 for 4). Cano was the only Yankee with more than one hit.
Who Pitched Well: Mariano Rivera struck out two in a scorless sixth. Randy Johnson allowed just one hit through 4 1/3, retiring eleven in a row and needing just 36 pitches through his first four innings. He then gave up two runs on a walk and four more hits (including a homer by St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan’s son Chris) over his final 2/3 inning. He struck out four on the day throwing 73 percent of 67 pitches for strikes. Johnson will make three more starts this spring.
Oopsies: A throwing error by Kelly Stinnett.
Ouchies: Jason Giambi returned to game action going 0 for 2 with a sac fly, but the big news was Johnny Damon’s tired throwing shoulder. Damon hurt his left shoulder diving for a ball early last August, but the reoccurence of soreness has been attributed to typical spring training fatigue. However, because Damon is playing in the WBC and no one in Tampa–specifically Torre, Cashman, or any of the Yankee doctors or trainers–has spoken to him, everyone is overreacting to the lack of information. The fact of the matter is that Damon is resting the shoulder by not playing–he last started on Friday and had a single pinch-hit at-bat on Sunday–just as he would if he were in camp with the Yankees, and could be taken off the US roster and returned to the Yankees if the team advances to the semifinals (which it might not). Damon has a dreadful throwing arm to begin with (Steven Goldman recently wrote that the Orioles’ Daniel Cabrera could throw a dead octopus through a brick wall. Damon, like Bernie before him, couldn’t throw a brick through a dead octopus.) So as long as the bum wing (which could be fine given the rest) doesn’t effect his swing, there’s not much cause for concern here. Just be thankful that the Yankees have two of the best cuttoff men in the business in Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano. The more things change . . .