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Indians 4, Yankees 3
2007-03-11 07:04
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees lost their second game of the spring (curiously both were games against the Indians started by Chien-Ming Wang).

Lineup:

L - Johnny Damon (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Bronson Sardinha (DH)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Hideki Matsui (LF)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
S - Melky Cabrera (RF)
L - Doug Mientkiewicz (1B)
R - Miguel Cairo (2B)

Pitchers: Chien-Ming Wang, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, T.J. Beam, Scott Proctor, Chris Britton, Ron Villone

Subs: Juan Miranda (1B), Alberto Gonzalez (PR/SS), Angel Chavez (PR/3B/2B), Chris Basak (PR/3B), Raul Chavez (C), Ben Davis (C), Jose Tabata (LF), Kevin Thompson (LF/RF), Brett Gardner (CF), Josh Phelps (PH), Robinson Cano (PH), Kevin Reese (PH)

Opposition: Seven of the Indians starters including Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez, but no Grady Sizemore (who seems to own Wang).

Big Hits: A ninth-inning lead-off, opposite field homer by Jose Tabata. Alex Rodriguez (1 for 2) delivered a two-out RBI-single in the sixth. Bronson Sardinha, a last-minute replacement for Jason Giambi in the three-hole, went 2 for 4. Robinson Cano delivered a two-out, full-count, pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth.

Who Pitched Well: Chien-Ming Wang gave up a home run to David Dellucci in the first, but was otherwise outstanding in his first four-innings outing of the spring. Wang struck out four, including Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez, getting the rest of his outs on seven groundouts and a pop up. He tired with two outs in the fourth, issuing a walk after going to three-balls on a batter for the only time in the game and issuing his second ground-ball single of the game, but got the final out on a grounder that ricocheted off Alex Rodriguez to Derek Jeter, who made a great off-balance throw to nail the runner at first. Mariano Rivera allowed his first base runner of the spring on a Josh Barfield double, but retired the other three batters he faced. T.J. Beam got the only batter he faced to ground into a double play to end the seventh in relief of Phil Hughes. Scott Proctor pitched around a single in the eight, striking out two. He continues to look sharp this spring, making good use of his curve. Chris Britton retired the only two men he faced in the ninth and Ron Villone struck out Travis Hafner to finish the frame.

Who Didn't: Phil Hughes had his second rough outing in three spring appearances, this being the by far the worse of the two. Starting off the sixth inning, his stuff looked fantastic--mid-90s heat and a devastating nose-to-toes curve that came in as slow as 70 miles per hour--and he went right after his first two batters, Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez. Hafner grounded out meekly, but Martinez battled him, eventually singling the opposite way. That seemed to rattle Hughes, who quickly lost that laser-like command that is his calling card. He walked the next batter on four pitches, then gave up an RBI double, a sac fly, threw a wild pitch in the dirt, and issued a five-pitch walk before finally getting out of the inning on a groundout. In the seventh he was greeted by a ringing triple by Hector Luna. His next pitch was in the dirt and Luna was plated on a hard liner to right that Melky Cabrera snagged for a sac fly. Hughes then walked Hafner after going full and gave up another hard single to Martinez before yielding to T.J. Beam.

Oopsies: Brett Gardner hit a bounding seeing eye RBI single in the seventh, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double, ending the rally. The oopsie wasn't his, though, it was the umpire's. Gardner was clearly safe. Chris Basak failed to successfully bunt over the tying runs in the eighth, forcing the runner at third instead.

Ouchies: Jason Giambi was a late scratch due to cramps in his calf. He'll start tomorrow night's game against the Red Sox, as will Todd Pratt. Wil Nieves has been shut down due to an inflamed right elbow. He's had x-rays and an MRI (results pending) and is expected to miss about a week. Bobby Abreu (oblique) hit 20 balls off a tee on Saturday and reported no pain. He hit 25 soft tossed balls in the cage today in addition to some more tee work (roughly 50 swings in all according to Joe Torre). Brian Bruney (back) threw a bullpen today and hopes to pitch in a game in the next couple of days. Humberto Sanchez (elbow) played catch on Saturday and hopes to throw off a mound soon.

Battles: Josh Phelps, up with the Yankees down by two, the bases loaded, a lefty on the mound, and one out in the eighth, hit into a rally-killing double play. Raul Chaves was 1 for 1 with a single. Ben Davis didn't get a turn at-bat. Beam, Britton and Villone all pitched perfect partial innings.

Notes: Carl Pavano's absence on Friday night has been revealed to have because of a "severe medical situation" involving his girlfriend, model Gia Allemand. No more details have been made available, but Pavano has said that she's doing well. Last year's NL Manager of the Year, Joe Girardi made his 2007 YES debut, partnered with Ken Singleton. The prospect of a Singleton/Leiter/Girardi booth providing hitter, pitcher, and catcher perspectives respectively is awesome.

Comments
2007-03-11 14:59:42
1.   Chyll Will
A few weeks in Scranton's starting to sound better and better. I remember when I was pitching in Little League, I was throwing a no-hitter when my coach came out and told me I was on the ballot for the All-Stars. Next thing you know, I was playing catch with the backstop. Didn't make the team.

Phil, he'll be all right. Just don't rush him.

2007-03-11 16:30:11
2.   brockdc
Thanks for the recaps, Cliff. Hmm...Villone coming in to face a dangerous lefty...Could it be that the Yanks would consider him as their LOOGY+, thereby making Myers expendible?
2007-03-11 18:17:43
3.   mehmattski
The banishment of Michael Kay would be a dream come true. Though I would settle for him being made scarce by more talented broadcasters.
2007-03-12 10:52:48
4.   rmd0311
Wishing the banishment of Michael Kay.

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