With the wind blowing out in Bradenton, the Pirates launched five home runs to beat the Yankees’ road squad 10-5. If not for Bucs non-roster reliever Jean Machi stinking it up in the ninth inning, the game wouldn’t even have been that close.
R – Derek Jeter (SS)
L – Nick Johnson (1B)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
S – Nick Swisher (RF)
R – Marcus Thames (LF)
L – Brett Gardner (CF)
S – Randy Winn (DH)
R – Francisco Cervelli (C)
R – Jorge Vazquez (3B)
Subs: Juan Miranda (1B), Kevin Russo (2B), Eduardo Nuñez (SS), Brandon Laird (3B), Mike Rivera (C), Jon Weber (RF), Greg Golson (CF), David Winfree (LF), Reid Gorecki (DH)
Pitchers (IP): CC Sabathia (4 1/3), Jonathan Albaladejo (2/3), Mark Melancon (1), Dustin Moseley (1), Ivan Nova (1)
Big Hits: A two-out wind-blown solo homer to straight-away center in the sixth by Nick Johnson (1-for-2, BB) for the first Yankee run of the game. A two-RBI double by Greg Golson in his only at-bat. No Yankee had multiple hits and only Johnson reached base more than once.
Who Pitched Well: CC Sabathia gave up three runs in 4 1/3 innings, but two of those runs scored after he left the game. In his first four innings the only run he allowed came on a wind-blown solo homer by Akinori Iwamura and he only allowed to other hits, both singles, and walked two in his full outing, though he also only struck out two. Mark Melancon worked around a leadoff single in the sixth, striking out two and erasing the single with Francisco Cervelli’s help via a caught-stealing.
Who Didn’t: Jonathan Albaladejo walked one and gave up two doubles and a single over the course of just six batters, allowing two inherited runners to score as well as three of his own. His spring ERA, which doesn’t include inherited runners who have scored, is 45.00. Dustin Moseley gave up three solo home runs as well as a single in the seventh. Ivan Nova gave up a solo homer to Bobby Crosby (who also homered off Moseley) with two outs in the ninth. He then gave up two singles and a walk, but got the third out before any of them could score.
Nice Plays: Francisco Cervelli threw a strike right to the inside part of second base to nail Lastings Milledge trying to steal in the sixth. Hat-tip to Delwin Young who robbed Marcus Thames of a hit in the seventh by leaping to snag a line drive well over his head.
Oopsies: Nick Swisher wiffed while trying to cut off a Lastings Milledge double in the gap, but Brett Gardner backed up the play and threw behind Milledge as he rounded second, trapping him in a run-down.
Cuts: Right-handed starter Zach McAllister, catcher Jose Gil and righty reliever Grant Duff, all non-roster invitees, were reassigned to minor league camp. Gil is organizational filler in an organization filled with actual catching prospects. He could serve as Austin Romine’s backup in Double-A this year or have a bigger role in High-A Tampa. Duff and his high-90s heat will likely slot into the Trenton bullpen, where he’ll have a lot to prove. McAllister is the organization’s top pitching prospect and is being farmed out this early because starters are going deeper into games and there are only so many innings available in the major league games with five pitchers theoretically competing for the fifth spot in the big league rotation. McAllister should be the ace of the Scranton rotation this year and could be in play as a mid-season replacement should the rotation require it. If not, expect to see him called up in September and competing for the fifth-starter spot himself next year.
Other: Watching the Pirates’ broadcast on MLB Network, it was a bit sad to see how hard Pittsburgh was pushing its season ticket packages. It was also frustrating; I wish the Yankees were that desperate for my business.