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Yankees 5, Pirates 3
2007-03-10 10:55
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees continue to get big hits from first basemen with uncomplicated last names. Today, the pride of Florham Park, New Jersey came through with a pinch-hit two run blast to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth.

Lineup:

L - Johnny Damon (CF)
S - Melky Cabrera (LF)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
R - Josh Phelps (1B)
R - Chris Basak (SS)
R - Kevin Thompson (RF)
R - Raul Chavez (C)
L - Kei Igawa (P)

Pitchers: Kei Igawa, Steven Jackson, Tyler Clippard, Luis Vizcaino, Mike Myers, Sean Henn

Subs: Eric Duncan (1B), Andy Cannizaro (2B), Alberto Gonzalez (SS), Miguel Cairo (3B), Jason Brown (C), Kevin Reese (RF/CF), Bronson Sardinha (RF), Jose Tabata (LF)

Opposition: Just three of the last-place Pirates starters.

Big Hits: Eric Duncan hit a two-run pinch-hit homer in the top of the ninth of Pirates closer Salomon Torres to win it. He was 0 for 8 with a walk before that blast.

Who Pitched Well: Kei Igawa had a strong outing when Ronnie Paulino wasn't at the plate. Paulino touched Igawa up for a two-out double in the first and a two-out, two-run homer in the third. Otherwise, Igawa struck out four and walked none allowing just three other hits, all singles, in three innings, with just two of his nine outs coming in the air. Certainly his outing was a huge improvement over his spring debut. Tyler Clippard kept pace with the rest of the Yankees young arms with two more scoreless innings, allowing his first hit in four spring innings (he still hasn't walked anyone) and striking out one. Luis Vizcaino allowed a hit and a walk while striking out two in a scoreless inning, which seems to be his way of doing things. In four spring innings he's allowed six base runners and struck out five. Mike Myers retired the only two batters he faced in the ninth and Sean Henn struck out his only man to pick up the save.

Who Didn't: Steven Jackson was again unimpressive allowing a run on four hits and two walks in his two innings and striking out no one. He did get five groundball outs and a double-play, however.

Battles: Raul Chavez went 0 for 3, but did gun out Chris Duffy on the bases. Josh Phelps had his first bad day of the spring, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, though he still managed to drive in a run on a groundout.

Notes: As expected, Pavano returned to the team today. He threw for ten minutes in the bullpen and is schedule to start on Monday against the Red Sox. Andy Pettitte will pitch a simulated game back at Legends Field and Andy Phillips will hit against him with the hope of getting into an actual game on Tuesday. Catcher Jason Brown was on loan from minor league camp. He's a 32-year-old career minor leaguer out of USC who's had a total of 41 at-bats in triple-A, has never seen the majors outside of spring training, and has a career minor league GPA of .226.

Comments
2007-03-10 19:02:30
1.   C2Coke
As long as Igawa is making progress, two-run homer really doesn't mean anything. Heck, Wang had gave up a HR this spring already as well.

So far, I think the Yankees have found the 4th guy. And I really think Igawa can only be better than Wright come the regular season. Am I too hopeful?

2007-03-10 19:22:33
2.   joejoejoe
Is that Chris Basak's first start? He seems to be getting a lot of run as utility IF/PR. Andy Cannizaro better rub his gris-gris and say a spell or the A-Can era may never start!
2007-03-10 21:33:00
3.   Cliff Corcoran
1 Not at all.

2 Indeed it is, good eye.

2007-03-11 00:12:01
4.   Rich
Backup catcher is still this team's Achilles' heel. All the candidates are awful.
2007-03-11 00:40:28
5.   joejoejoe
4 The stupid Pirates keep converting surplus catching into position players. I just read where they converted yet another catching prospect to the field (Neil Walker to 3B this year, Ryan Doumit to 1B last year). Why they don't trade their catchers for position players and extract a premium based on scarcity I'll never know. A decent hitting catcher is gold. A decent hitting corner infielder is common as dirt. The alchemists in the Pirates are content to turn gold into dirt. No wonder they lose ever year.
2007-03-11 05:23:26
6.   The Mick 536
I think that first base will be the big weakness. The big guys will have a number of games where they collectively fail to put the ball where the other ain't. How bad can the Phelps/Phillips combo be? To count on Minky is a mistake.

As for Kei, will keep supporting him. Just like to see him lower his ERA from 9 and not sqaunder a three run lead. Lefties lead in da Bronx.

2007-03-11 07:27:17
7.   Raf
5 Yet, they'll blame the non revenue generating small market where they play...

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