The Yankees played their second ten-inning game in as many days yesterday, this time coming out ahead thanks to some more clutch hitting from Josh Phelps.
L – Johnny Damon (CF)
R – Derek Jeter (SS)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
L – Jason Giambi (1B)
L – Bronson Sardinha (RF)
R – Angel Chavez (3B)
L – Kevin Reese (LF)
R – Wil Nieves (C)
R – Mike Mussina (P)
Pitchers: Mike Mussina, Scott Proctor, Matt DeSalvo, Colter Bean, Chris Britton, Ron Villone
Subs: Josh Phelps (1B), Andy Cannizaro (2B), Alberto Gonzalez (SS), Chris Basak (PR/SS/3B), Raul Chavez (C), Jose Tabata (LF), Doug Mientkiewicz (PH), Kevin Thompson (PH), Eric Duncan (PH), Ben Davis (PH)
Opposition: All but one of the fallen Braves’ starters.
Big Hits: An opposite-field home run to lead off the second by Jason Giambi (1 for 3). With the game tied 2-2, Chris Basak (2 for 2) led off the eighth and doubled (though left fielder Matt Diaz booted the ball eliminating what otherwise might have been a close play at second). Josh Phelps (1 for 1) delivered the game-winning RBI single with two-outs in the tenth after having delivered a tie-breaking sac fly in the eighth in his previous at-bat.
Who Pitched Well: Colter Bean slung two perfect innings, striking out two. Bean has allowed just one baserunner in four spring innings, striking out four. Scott Proctor and Ron Villone pitched around singles for a pair of scoreless innings, Villone benefiting from a double-play and earning the save. Matt DeSalvo pitched two scoreless innings, though he did allow four baserunners (a single, a Kelly Johnson double, and two walks).
Who Didn’t: Mike Mussina retired the last five men he faced, but he was pounded before that, allowing a pair of runs on four hits in his first inning and a third, including a fielder-assisted Jeff Francoeur homer and a pair of doubles. Even those early outs were hit hard. Chris Britton blew a one-run lead in the ninth on a walk and a triple, vulturing the win from Bean.
Oopsies: Attempting a leaping catch at the wall of a drive to deep right by Jeff Francoeur, Bronson Sardinha tipped the ball over the wall for a home run as the ball bounced out of the webbing of his glove. In the bottom of the ninth, after Scott Thorman drew a one-out walk off Chris Britton with the Braves down by a run, Willie Harris pinch-ran and Raul Chavez overthrew second on Harris’s steal attempt, which allowed Harris to reach third before eventually scoring the tying run (though to be fair, Harris was plated by a triple and thus could have scored from first).
Ouchies: Bobby Abreu didn’t feel any pain while swinging his broomstick, Humberto Sanchez is soft-tossing on flat ground, and Andy Phillips has returned to camp. Phillips will have to work his way into game shape over the next few days. His 53-year-old mother, Linda, whose car was t-boned by a tractor trailer, has undergone successful surgeries on her shattered hip and pelvis as well as another to alleviate some clotting. She’s been off her respirator since Wednesday and, though she’s still not fully lucid, she’s responsive and stable enough for Andy to return to the team.
Battles: Chris Britton blew the save in the ninth when he allowed a ringing two-out triple of the bat of Tony Peña Jr. Wil Nieves (0 for 2) grounded into a double play to kill a rally in the second, then failed to execute a sac bunt in the fifth. Asked to do the same in the tenth following Jose Tabata’s leadoff single, Ben Davis (a famous bunter of sorts), bunted right back to the mound, but benefited from a throwing error by pitcher Steve Colyer which put runners on second and third with none out. Raul Chavez also went hitless in two at-bats and committed a throwing error on a stolen base attempt. Josh Phelps twice came to the plate with the game tied and the go-ahead run on base, and both times drove that run home. With the go-ahead run on third and one out in the eighth, Phelps delivered a sac fly to deep right to put the Yankees up 3-2. With the game tied 3-3 in the tenth, men on first and second, and two outs, Phelps creamed an opposite field single off the wall in right to push the score to 4-3 Yankees. Phelps also had a good day in the field, saving yet another Alberto Gonzalez error with a nice scoop at first base, though he did run into an out trying to go first-to-third on Bronson Sardinha’s RBI single to end the rally in the tenth. Thus far Phelps has raked at the plate (.600/.615/1.000), looked perfectly viable in the field, but has proven to be a dreadfully slow baserunner.