Back at home, the Yankees won an ugly 9-8 game against the Tigers.
Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS
Gary Sheffield RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Jason Giambi 1B
Bernie Williams LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kelly Stinnett C
Subs: Luis A. Garcia 1B, Miguel Cairo SS, Russ Johnson 3B, Omir Santos C, Bubba Crosby RF, Kevin Thompson CF, Kevin Reese LF, Wil Nieves DH
Pitchers: Chien-Ming Wang, Mark Corey, Tanyon Sturtze, Jose Veras, Dusty Bergman, Ramiro Mendoza, Mike Myers
Big Hits: A two-run dinger by Bubba Crosby (1 for 2) in the eighth was the game winner, Sheffield (2 for 3), Bernie (1 for 4) and Cano (2 for 4) doubled, while Jeter (2 for 3) and Damon (2 for 4) also had multi-hit days.
Who Pitched Well?: Mendoza and Myers finished things off with perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively. Before leaving the game after being hit by a comebacker, Wang allowed two runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings, but also struck out three against no walks and three of his other four outs came on the ground.
Oopsies: A Jason Giambi throw.
Ouchies: Wang left the game in the third when he was hit in the right knee by a hard one-hopper off the bat of Curtis Granderson. X-rays were negative and Wang returned from the hospital without a limp. Carl Pavano threw 30 pitches in the bullpen and is expected to pitch an inning in relief on Tuesday. Johnny Damon, who has played center in the last two games, reports that he no longer has any pain in his throwing shoulder. Jorge Posada worked out with the team yesterday and will have the spints removed from his nose and his vision checked by an ophthalmologist today. Posada experienced some swelling in his left eye after being hit by Kelly Stinnett’s throw on Wednesday, but says his vision has been fine since Thursday.
The Cruelest Cuts of All: Abandon hope all ye who enter here, Kevin Thompson (.383/.420/.532 this spring) and Kevin Reese (.280/.308/.360) were optioned to Columbus, handing the back-up outfielder spot to Bubba Crosby (.161/.188/.387). To put it another way, 28-year-old Kevin Reese, who hit .276/.359/.450 in a full season at Columbus last year and 26-year-old Kevin Thompson, who hit .329/.432/.565 in a half-season at Trenton last year, were demoted in favor of 29-year-old Bubba Crosby who has hit .221/.253/.301 in 163 career major league at-bats. Here’s hoping this situation rectifies itself should one of the Kevins have a strong start with the Clippers. Less troublingly, Ben Davis was reassigned to minor league camp. More cuts, which could very well clarify the bullpen situation, are expected today.