A.J. Burnett and Mariano Rivera, the latter in his spring debut, put a lot of runners on base against a pathetic split-squad Astros lineup, but only let one score. The preliminary Opening Day lineup plated three early runs, and Phil Hughes wrapped things up with four scoreless innings as the Yankees won 4-1.
R – Derek Jeter (SS)
L – Nick Johnson (DH)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
R – Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
S – Jorge Posada (C)
L – Curtis Granderson (LF)
S – Nick Swisher (RF)
L – Brett Gardner (CF)
Subs: Jorge Vazquez (1B), Reegie Corona (2B), Eduardo Nuñez (SS), Brandon Laird (3B), Jesus Montero (C), Jamie Hoffmann (RF), Greg Golson (CF), Colin Curtis (LF), Austin Romine (DH)
Pitchers (IP): A.J. Burnett (2 1/3), Zach Segovia (1 2/3), Mariano Rivera (1), Phil Hughes (4)
Big Hits: A solo homer by Mark Teixeira (1-for-2, HBP). Doubles by Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano (both 1-for-3). Jorge Posada went 2-for-3 and is now hitting .421 on the spring.
Who Pitched Well: Zach Segovia retired all five men he faced, striking out two and picking up the win. Phil Hughes threw four scoreless innings allowing just three singles and a walk needing just 59 pitches, all while continuing to experiment with his changeup. At the same time, he was often working from behind in the count and faced the subs of the road split-squad of a terrible Astros team and still only struck out two (both on curveballs).
Who Didn’t: A.J. Burnett walked four and allowed a double and a single in 2 1/3 innings, using up his 65 pitches well before the Yankees’ goal for him of four innings. Burnett said he was struggling with his fastball command and overthrowing. Mariano Rivera showed some rust in his first inning of work of the spring, walking one, giving up a pair of singles (one hard hit, one that didn’t reach the outfield), and throwing 27 pitches. Still, he stranded all three runners.
Nice Plays: Running catches by Nick Swisher and Colin Curtis in the outfield.
Oopsies: Jorge Posada airmailed a throw over second base, but the runner was advanced on ball four anyway and didn’t take third on the overthrow. Robison Cano failed to get a double-play ball out of his glove in time for Derek Jeter to make the pivot. Phil Hughes dropped a comebacker for an error.
Ouchies: Mark Teixeira was hit in the back with a pitch, but stayed in the game and later homered.
Other: Although the batting order was a trial run at the Opening Day lineup, Joe Girardi was clear that he’s still experimenting with where Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner will play in the outfield, so don’t read anything into Granderson starting in left on Tuesday, even though I’m going to.
Props to the Star-Ledger‘s Marc Carig for providing some of the details via play-by-play on twitter as the game wasn’t on TV or radio in the New York area.