The Yanks made their home and broadcast debut with a 5-1 win over the Rays this afternoon. They’ve now won their first two spring games by a combined score of 11-2.
L – Johnny Damon (LF)
R – Derek Jeter (SS)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
R – Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
R – Xavier Nady (RF)
S – Jorge Posada (DH)
R – Jose Molina (C)
S – Melky Cabrera (CF)
Subs: Cody Ransom (1B), Angel Berroa (2B), Eduardo Nuñez (SS), Doug Bernier (3B), Francisco Cervelli (C), Shelley Duncan (RF), Brett Gardner (CF), Colin Curtis (LF), Kyle Anson (DH)
Pitchers: Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte, J.B. Cox, Mark Melancon, Jonathan Albaladejo
Opposition: Carl Crawford and spare parts
Jorge Posada (2-for-2) hit the first pitch he saw this spring into the right field bleachers, then hit a 405-foot RBI ground rule double in his next at-bat that likely would have gone out to dead center if not for a strong head wind. Shelley Duncan (1-for-1) crushalated a Calvin Medlock pitch in the seventh, dropping a three-run homer into the pond beyond the left field fence. Together, Posada and Duncan drove in all five Yankee runs.
Who Pitched Well:
Everyone. The seven Yankee pitchers didn’t allow an extra base hit and walked only one man. The one Rays run came off J.B. Cox in the seventh on a pair of infield singles and a stolen base. Phil Hughes issued the one walk and hit two other batters in his two innings, but he wasn’t wild. Both HBPs came when pitches inside and under the hands clipped the jersey of a left-handed batter, and the walk was on a full count. Hughes actually looked to be throwing a lot of strikes (Pete Abe had him throwing 67 percent of 33 pitches for strikes). He used his changeup and curveball, didn’t allow a hit, broke two bats, and struck out two men with fastballs (sitting around 92 miles per hour per the YES gun), one of whom was Carl Crawford, who went down on three pitches.
Robinson Cano made a nice ranging play on a hopper far to his left. Mark Teixeira saved a wild throw by Alex Rodriguez and got the out call, though his foot appeared to leave the bag before the catch.
Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner both went 0-for-2, but Melky’s two were weak groundouts, while Gardner was robbed of a double in the right field gap in his second trip when the swirling winds blew his hit back toward a diving Ray Sadler in center. Gardner tried to bunt for a hit in his first at-bat, but didn’t get the ball far enough away from home plate and was easily thrown out by former Yankee farmhand Michel Hernandez. Gardner also showed good range in the field. Xavier Nady hit a ground rule double down the right-field line in two at-bats. Phil Coke pitched two scoreless innings, suggesting he might be in the mix for the long-man position, which would be a good solution to that problem. Mark Melancon and Jonathan Albaladejo both pitched perfect innings late in the game. Melancon got two outs on the ground and the third by strikeout, but didn’t look terribly impressive to me, pitching deep into counts and sitting around 90-91 mph with his fastball. Albaladejo got two of three outs on the ground and had a few extra ticks on the gun.
- Bernie Williams threw out the first pitch. He’s been working out with the Yankees in preperation for the World Baseball Classic.
- Alex Rodriguez was booed as he came to the plate for his first at-bat, and when he struck out, the crowd cheered. Remember, the Yankees were playing the Rays in Tampa, even if it was a “home” game.
- Brian Bruney is now down to 220 pounds. He’s in great shape and was throwing around 94 mph.
YES showed the full tournament bracket from the Yankees’ day at the pool hall. Labelled “First Annual World Championship of Pool,” the tournament started with 32 two-player teams. Here’s how the final four rounds went down:
- Alfredo Aceves & Steven Jackson def. Gardner & Nady
- Mariano Rivera & Coke def. Wilkin de la Rosa & Eric Hacker
- A.J. Burnett & Moilna def. Todd Linden & Marte
- John Rodriguez & Melancon def. Cervelli & Christian Garcia
- Rivera & Coke def. Aceves & Jackson
- Rodriguez & Melancon def. Burnett & Molina
- “Mo/Coke” def. “JRod/Melancon”