The Yankees won their first game since February 26, beating Justin Verlander and the Tigers 7-3 with the help of new ace CC Sabathia.
L – Brett Gardner (CF)
L – Johnny Damon (LF)
S – Nick Swisher (1B)
S – Jorge Posada (DH)
R – Shelley Duncan (RF)
R – Cody Ransom (3B)
R – Jose Molina (C)
R – Angel Berroa (2B)
S – Ramiro Peña (SS)
Subs: Juan Miranda (1B), Doug Bernier (2B), Eduardo Nuñez (SS), Kevin Russo (3B), Jesus Montero (C), John Rodriguez (RF), Austin Jackson (CF), Colin Curtis (LF), Kyle Anson (C)
Pitchers: CC Sabathia, Alfredo Aceves, Steven Jackson, Jose Veras, Anthony Claggett, David Robertson
Opposition: The Tigers’ B-team.
Five doubles, one each by Cody Ransom (1-for-3), Johnny Damon (1-for-2, BB), Jorge Posada (1-for-3), Jose Molina (2-for-3), and Jesus Montero (1-for-1). Ramiro Peña went 2-for-2, stole a base, and delivered a sacrifice bunt.
Who Pitched Well:
In his first game action as a Yankee, CC Sabathia allowed two hits and one unearned run in two innings of work. The run came after Shelley Duncan turned a pop-up into a double and Angel Berroa booted a ball. Sabathia struck out two, and got his other four outs on the ground. Alfredo Aceves allowed a single and a walk in 2 2/3 scoreless innings. David Robertson struck out the side in order in the ninth. Jose Veras struck out two in the seventh allowing only a walk. Anthony Claggett pitched around a single in the eighth.
Steven Jackson gave up two runs on a pair of singles and a walk in an inning and a third.
Cody Ransom, who is now battling to be the Yankees’ replacement third baseman, went 1-for-3 with a double. Angel Berroa went 1-for-3 and made his third fielding error of the week (though his first official boot as the other two came against WBC teams in games that don’t “count”). Scary thought: if Ransom does become the third baseman, does that make Berroa the utlity infielder? Doug Bernier and Kevin Russo have one hit between them this spring. Eduardo Nuñez hasn’t hit in A-ball yet, and Ramiro Peña hit .266/.330/.357 in Double-A last year? Justin Leone doesn’t have the glove for the job. Then again, neither does Berroa. It’s worth noting that the slick-fielding Peña has been getting a lot of starts with Rodriguez, Jeter, and Cano away from camp.
Brett Gardner went 1-f0r-3 and made a great catch in center. Nick Swisher walked in three trips. Jose Veras‘s decision to skip the WBC to solidify his bullpen job is paying off. David Robertson is coming on strong as well. If the season started today, the pen would likely be Rivera, Bruney, Marte, Veras, Coke, Robertson and a long man, though I’d rather the Yankees take Albaladejo or Melancon. As for the long-relief competition, Alfredo Aceves threw his hat back in the ring with his outing yesterday, though the five-day gap between his appearances suggest the Yankees are prepping him to startin Triple-A and focusing on Dan Giese and (sigh) Brett Tomko as the long-relief candidates.
Mariano Rivera will join the Panamanian WBC team over the weekend for ceremonial purposes only. Panama’s game against Puerto Rico follows the US v. Canada matchup that I’ll be liveblogging for SI.com starting at 2pm today. (Was that plug subtle enough?)