The Yankees brought their B-team on the road to play the Pirates, got just five men on base, and were shut out 8-0
S – Melky Cabrera (CF)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
L – Hideki Matsui (LF)
R – Morgan Ensberg (1B)
S – Wilson Betemit (SS)
R – Jason Lane (RF)
R – Cody Ransom (3B)
R – Chris Woodward (DH)
R – Chad Moeller (C)
Pitchers: Jeff Karstens, Scott Strickland, Heath Phillips, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, Ross Ohlendorf
Subs: Bernie Castro (2B), Eduardo Nuñez (SS), Nick Green (3B), Jason Brown (C), Brett Gardner (CF), Greg Porter (LF), Wilson Betemit finished the game at first base.
Opposition: Something approximating the Pirates starters.
Big Hits: None. The Yankees had two singles on the day, one by Hideki Matsui and one by Chris Woodward. Matsui also drew one of three Yankee walks and was thus the only Yankee to reach base twice.
Who Pitched Well: Health Phillips pitched around a single for 1 1/3 scoreless frames.
Who Didn’t: The only other Yankee hurler not to be charged with a run was Scott Strickland, but he came in with a man on base and allowed a pair of singles, which plated that inherited runner. He also pitched just 2/3 of an inning. Jose Veras allowed two runs on a walk and two singles in the sixth. Edwar Ramirez allowed a run on a walk and two singles in the eighth, though he also struck out the side. Ross Ohlendorf allowed a run on two singles in the ninth, though he also struck out two and/or got two groundouts (the box score is a bit conflicted).
Jeff Karstens started and allowed four runs on seven hits, five of them doubles. He has a 9.64 ERA on the spring and a 1-3 record. Per Pete Abe, the Yankees remain determined to take a long man north, which means it’s probably between Darrell Rasner (1-0, 5.84) and Kei Igawa (1-0, 3.38). Igawa, by the way, dominated the Trenton Thunder in today’s minor league intrasquad game (see below). I’ve always preferred Rasner out of this group, though his struggles earlier this month concerned me. Unfortunately, Rasner has the additional obstacle of not being on the 40-man roster.
Ouchies: Andy Pettitte (back) was supposed to play catch yesterday. He didn’t. He was supposed to start on Thursday. He won’t. If he can start in a minor league game on Friday, he can stay on schedule to start Game 2 of the regular season. If not, the Yankees will have to come up with another plan, which could be anything from simply swapping Mussina and Pettitte in the rotation to using the afore-mentioned longman in a spot start, to placing Pettitte on the DL retroactive to his last spring start and starting anyone from a minor league replacement to Joba Chamberlain in his stead. Robinson Cano (back) was supposed to play against the Pirates. He did. He’s fine.
Other Action: Igawa, pitching for Scranton, and Mike Mussina, pitching for Trenton, faced off in a rule-bending minor league intrasquad game of sorts that started at 10am yesterday morning. Dan Graziano sets the scene. Chad Jennings has the details. The relevant lines are Igawa: 4 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 8 K; Moose: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.
More: Kat O’Brien has an exclusive piece on Hal Steinbrenner, on whom I must admit I’m developing a bit of a man-crush. He’s young, good looking, and says things like, “The Super Bowl was great. I think it showed New Yorkers that if you’re patient with a young kid, good things can happen.” Swoon. Excerpts from the article can be found on Kat’s blog. Meanwhile, here’s a solid piece by Sam Borden on the impact of Joe Torre’s relocation on his family. Also, Pete Abe is taking reader questions for Brian Cashman. I imagine you guys could come up with some real doozies for the GM.