The Yankees dropped a pair of split-squad games to the Tigers and Astros yesterday.
Wednesday the Yankees visited Houston and put the smack down. Yesterday, the Astros returned the favor 10-5.
Miguel Cairo 3B
Melky Cabrera CF
Jason Giambi 1B
Gary Sheffield DH
Hideki Matsui LF
Kelly Stinnett C
Kevin Howard 2B
Ramiro Pena SS
Kevin Reese RF
Subs: Eric Duncan 1B, Russ Johnson 3B-2B, Hector Made 3B, Wil Nieves C, Bronson Sardinha RF, Rudy Guillen LF, Ben Davis DH
Pitchers: Chien-Ming Wang, Mariano Rivera, Kyle Farnsworth, Tanyon Sturtze, Mike Myers, T.J. Beam
Big Hits: Solo homers by Matsui (1 for 2) and Russ Johnson (2 for 2), a pair of doubles by Stinnett (2 for 3) and a triple by Melky Cabrera (2 for 4)
Who Pitched Well: Wang allowed five hits and no walks in four innings and getting ten of his twelve outs on ground balls, but was betrayed by his defense resulting in a pair of unearned runs in the first. Rivera and Myers both walked one in a hitless inning, though Rivera also hit a batter.
Who Didn’t: Sturtze and Beam combined to allow seven runs on six hits a pair of walks and a homer (Luke Scott off Beam) in two innings pitched. Sturtze also plunked two Astros. Ugly.
Oopsies: A fielding error by Cano and a throwing error by Ramiro Pena.
Ouchies: Jason Giambi played the field for the first time since before his calf injury. Jorge Posada has a fever, unfortunately an increase in cowbell has not caused the illness to abate. He’ll skip the Yankees’ two-game roadtrip to Jupiter this weekend.
Joe Torre actually joined his B-squad on the road (Mattingly managed the home game) as it enabled him to have dinner with his old Cardinal teammate Bob Gibson and Gibson’s even older teammate Stan Musial. How much would you pay to join that trio for a long, story-filled meal? I’m sure dinner was better than the Yankees 4-3 loss to the Tigers, which was so incredibly dull that the subhead of the game wrap on the Yankees’ official site reads: “Rolls, Escalona, Vechionacci drive in runs for New York.” Wow, thrilling.
Bubba Crosby CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Andy Phillips 1B
Mitch Jones DH
Damian Rolls LF
Felix Escalona SS
Omir Santos C
Marcos Vechionacci 3B
Kevin Thompson RF
Subs: David Parrish C, Jose Tabata RF
Pitchers: Matt DeSalvo, Jeffrey Karstens, Scott Erickson, Sean Henn
Big Hits: None. Not one Yankee had an extra base hit or a multi-hit day.
Who Pitched Well: Really no one, though both Jeff Karstens and Scott Erickson allowed just one baserunner in two innings a piece, both baserunners came on solo homers. Matt DeSalvo allowed just one run on another solo homer in three innings while striking out three, but also walked three and allowed two other hits, and the homer was by Omar Infante.
Who Didn’t: No one really stunk up the joint like Sturtze or Beam in the A-Game. Sean Henn got the loss by giving up another run in 1 2/3 innings on two walks and two hits, the second hit being a game-ending RBI single by Nook Logan, though Henn also struck out two.
Oopsies: The Yankees played error-free ball, but the Tigers made four errors behind groundballer Nate Robertson (11 of 15 outs on the ground) and company, giving them a staggering 26 on the spring.
WBC: The USA managed just three hits against Mexico, losing 2-1 and thus losing a tie-breaker to Japan, who will advance to play Korea in the second semi-final on Saturday, the third match-up between the two teams in the tournament and a game I don’t plan to miss. That means the Yankees will be back at full force possibly as soon as Sunday’s return to Tampa. Bernie Williams is already back in Tampa, where he will work out at the minor league complex while the Yankees are on their two-day road trip. For the record, Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 in last night’s game and finished the WBC with a .450/.522/.550 line with a triple and no strikeouts in 23 plate appearances over six games. Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 2 with two walks last night finishing with a .333/.391/.381 line with a double and seven strikeouts in the same number of opportunities. Johnny Damon did indeed pinch run last night, but did not come to bat, finishing the tournament 1 for 7 with a triple and two walks. Al Leiter made just one appearance in the tournament giving up two runs on three hits and a walk in just 2/3 of an inning.
Third Cut: After pitching in the B-game, Matt DeSalvo and Jeffrey Karstens were optioned to Columbus (a.k.a. minor league camp). With that, the Yankees have relocated all of the starters who aren’t either going to make the 40-man roster or be considered for work out of the bullpen, which is to say that I believe that the Yankees are currently trying to figure out what Sean Henn might be able to offer in a relief roll. DeSalvo has thus far fulfilled expectations by departing camp as the pitcher most likely to pull a Chien-Ming Wang this season. His final spring line: 8 IP, 4H, 1 R, 1 HR, 6 BB, 5 K, 1-0, 1.13.