My apologies for failing to do a recap of the Yankees’ 9-2 victory over the Pirates Tuesday night. The news from that game was all good. CC Sabathia was dominant (striking out seven in four innings while allowing just one run on a walk and a hit), as was Mariano Rivera. In his first spring game, Mo worked an 11-pitch 1-2-3 fifth, striking out two. Hideki Matsui had a big day at the plate (2-for-2, 2B, HR, 4 RBI), after which Robinson Cano replaced him as DH and doubled in three trips. Jorge Posada went 1-for-3 and survived a bad throw to third base (he said he had a bad grip, but his arm felt fine). Edwar Ramirez and Alfredo Aceves both pitched well in relief.
The news from last yesterday’s game was all good as well, though to a lesser degree, as the Yankees dropped the Astros 4-1.
L – Johnny Damon (LF)
L – Robinson Cano (DH)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
S – Nick Swisher (RF)
R – Cody Ransom (SS)
R – Jose Molina (C)
S – Melky Cabrera (CF)
R – Angel Berroa (2B)
R – Justin Leone (3B)
Subs: Juan Miranda (1B), Justin Snyder (2B), Addison Maruszak (SS), Eric Duncan (3B), P.J. Pilittere (C), Shelley Duncan (RF), Austin Jackson (CF), Todd Linden (LF), Eduardo Nuñez (DH), Kevin Cash (DH)
Pitchers: Chien-Ming Wang, Phil Coke, Brett Tomko, Jose Veras, Jonathan Albaladejo
The Yankees didn’t have an extra base hit in this game, but Robinson Cano went 2-for-4 as the DH, and Jose Molina went 2-for-3. The biggest hit of the game was Eric Duncan‘s two-RBI single in the ninth.
Who Pitched Well:
Everyone. Chien-Ming Wang fixed a flaw in his release point and held the Astros to one run on three hits and no walks over five innings. Twelve of his 15 outs came via strikeout (2) or groundout (10). Jonathan Albaladejo pitched a perfect ninth. Phil Coke and Brett Tomko each pitched around a single for a scoreless inning.
If you want to nit-pick, despite throwing a hitless inning, Jose Veras walked two, the first of whom stole second . . . 0r so the box score would have you believe, but if you check the batting order, the two Astros who walked were too far apart to have both done so in a scoreless, hitless inning.
Melky Cabrera went 0-for-3, though he drove in a run on a groundout to second and had an RBI double on Tuesday night. Nick Swisher went 1-for-3. Phil Coke, Jonathan Albaladejo, and Brett Tomko all helped themselves, while Jose Veras didn’t do any significant damage to his cause, no matter which version of his inning you believe. Coke’s 2.00 spring ERA is the highest of that bunch.
Robinson Cano (shoulder) had a good day at the plate as the DH and is still on schedule to start at second base on Friday. Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada felt fine after playing in Tuesday night’s game. Damaso Marte threw 30 pitches in the pen on Tuesday and felt fine. Ramiro Peña has a tender groin.
Can we put an end to this bullshit, please? Note the key word in the lede (my emphasis added): “If Mariano Rivera’s health falters and he is unable to close, the likelihood is Joba Chamberlain would be switched into the role, multiple [three] Yankees officials told The Post.”
Eventually, this piece by Joel Sherman reveals itself as an article on Brian Bruney, undermining that sensationalist lede:
That is unless Bruney makes people forget about Chamberlain in the eighth inning, thus earning the right to try the ninth, if need be . . . If he excels, he might even be able to fill in should anything beset Rivera, keeping Chamberlain where the Yanks want him in the rotation and setting his trajectory toward his career goal.
It’s damn cheap to use a sensationalist Joba hook to sell a Bruney article. At least Chamberlain understands the absurdity of his situation:
It’s like anything — if I mess up in the bullpen, they’ll say I should have been a starter and if I’m a starter, they’ll say that I should be back in the bullpen.
It’s kind of six of one and a half-dozen of the other. It’s going to be a debate for a while. I’m going to have a bad start and everyone is going to say I should go back to the ‘pen.
I think Bruney says it best in the original article: “I don’t give a [shit] about that.”