The Yankees–without Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, or Robinson Cano–nearly beat the All-Star-quality Team USA (which did have Jeter) yesterday afternoon, and likely would have if not for some poor play in the field by the New York reserves. As it was, they led the US in hits 13 to six, didn’t allow an extra-base hit, and the only member of the US squad who had a multi-hit day was their captain, Derek Jeter, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored, two RBIs, and a walk against his real team. In the end, John Rodriguez flied out with the tying run on base and the Yankees lost 6-5.
L – Johnny Damon (LF)
L – Brett Gardner (CF)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
S – Jorge Posada (C)
R – Xavier Nady (RF)
R – Cody Ransom (2B)
R – Kevin Cash (C)
R – Angel Berroa (SS)
R – Justin Leone (3B)
Subs: Nick Swisher (1B), Ramiro Peña (2B), Eduardo Nuñez (SS), Doug Bernier (3B), Kyle Anson (C), Shelley Duncan (RF), Melky Cabrera (CF), Colin Curtis (LF), John Rodriguez (DH)
Pitchers: Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Eric Hacker, Michael Dunn, David Robertson, Jose Veras
Opposition: The USA All-Stars.
Brett Gardner went 3-for-3 with a double and a stolen base. Nick Swisher (1-for-2) delivered a two-RBI ground rule double that bounded over the outfield wall. Jorge Posada and Cody Ransom both went 2-for-3; Ransom also stole a base.
Who Pitched Well:
Everyone but Hacker. Michael Dunn, David Robertson, and Jose Veras combined to hold the US hitless over the final four innings, striking out seven and walking one man each. Phil Coke allowed just a single in 2 1/3 innings and struck out Adam Dunn and Ryan Braun swinging. Phil Hughes faced the minimum for the first two innings, getting Jeter to ground into a double-play in the first, striking out David Wright and Dunn looking back-to-back in the second–Wright on a fastball on the inside corner, Dunn on a curve that dropped into the zone. In the third, Braun reached on a broke-bat single and with one out Hughes threw inside under Curtis Granderson’s hands and clipped his jersey, putting him on base. The runners move up on a 400-foot fly ball to center tracked down by Gardner before Jeter hit a bouncer past Berroa at short to drive them both in and end Hughes’ day.
Eric Hacker allowed two singles, walked two men, and uncorked two wild pitches without getting an out. Angel Berroa botching a backhanded grounder didn’t help anything but Hacker’s stat line, which shows four runs allowed, but only three earned in zero official innings pitched.
Melky Cabrera went 1-for-2 and stole a base, the hit and steal coming during the Yankees’ ninth-inning rally against Matt Lindstrom which fell a run short. Unfortunately for Melky, Brett Gardner had already gone 3-for-3 in the game with a steal of his own and a double down the left field line. Adding insult to injury, during a remote from the dugout with the YES Network former Yankee and current Cubs and Team USA lefty Ted Lilly complemented Gardner’s swing and asked if he was going to be the Opening Day center fielder. Xavier Nadywent 1-for-3 and hit into a 2-6-3 double-play. Nick Swisher went 1-for-2, his one hit being a booming two-RBI ground-rule double. Cody Ransom went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a great diving play to his right at second base, while Angel Berroa went 0-for-3 and made an error at a ball hit to his backhand at shortstop. Jose Veras, having passed on the Dominican team to fight for his bullpen spot, turned in a second strong outing. David Robertson turned in his first strong outing of the spring. Phil Coke‘s 2 1/3 innings suggest he is indeed in the long-relief battle and his dominance in those inning suggest he’s got a good lead in that battle.
Jorge Posada went 2-for-3 as the DH. His shoulder soreness seems to have already been forgotten about. Across the state with the Dominican team, Alex Rodriguez was diagnosed with a cyst on his right hip. It’s not enough to keep him from working out, and shouldn’t threaten his availability for Opening Day, but it could give the Yankees and excuse to recall him from the WBC.
The Yankees’ games against the USA (yesterday) and Canada (Thursday) won’t count in the spring statistics, which doesn’t make much sense to me, as all of the spring games are exhibitions, the US is an All-Star team and Canada is at least as good as a split-squad team (more hitting, less pitching).