The Yanks beat the Astros 7-6 this afternoon to run their spring record to 2-0-1.
L - Johnny Damon (LF)
S - Melky Cabrera (CF)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
R - Shelley Duncan (DH)
R - Morgan Ensberg (1B)
S - Wilson Betemit (3B)
R - Jason Lane (RF)
S - Francisco Cervelli (C)
R - Chris Woodward (SS)
Pitchers: Mike Mussina, Jeff Karstens, Edwar Ramirez, Steven Jackson, Daniel McCutchen, Mark Melancon
Subs: Cody Ransom (1B), Bernie Castro (2B), Alberto Gonzalez (SS), Nick Green (3B), Kyle Anson (C), Jose Tabata (RF), Brett Gardner (CF), Austin Jackson (LF), Greg Porter (DH)
Opposition: The Astros starters.
Big Hits: Doubles by Melky Cabrera (2 for 3, BB), Shelley Duncan (2 for 4), and Morgan Ensberg (2 for 4). Robinson Cano went 3 for 4.
Who Pitched Well: Everyone except Mussina. The five Yankee relievers combined for this line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 4 K. Jeff Karstens delivered three strong innings of relief, working around a single and a double by striking out two and getting four other outs on the ground. Jackson pitched a perfect inning. Melancon erased an error in the ninth by inducing a double play to face the minimum.
Who Didn't: Mussina, who allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in two-plus innings without striking out a batter. Moose breaks down his outing here. In summary, he was getting lots of early two-strike counts, but lacked command and an out pitch and thus was making mistakes in the zone (he threw a whopping 83 percent of his 40 pitches for strikes) and getting hit. The bulk of the damage occurred when he came back out for the third inning and gave up a pair of singles (an infield job by Kaz Matsui and a solid shot by Lance Berkman) and a three-run homer to Carlos Lee. Moose's outing is yet another reminder that it's very early in spring training, though it's worth noting that a lack of an out pitch is what got him bumped from the rotation down the stretch last year.
Oopsies: A bunch: Morgan Ensberg booted one in the first. In the second, with Hunter Pence on second, Jose Cruz Jr. singled to right field, Ensberg made an attempt at the ball (Mark Feinsand thinks he perhaps should have gotten to it), drawing Mussina toward first to cover the bag, Jason Lane then threw wild to the plate, and Mussina was caught out of position, leaving no one backing up the play and allowing Cruz to move to second. Later in the game, Alberto Gonzalez made a throwing error and Cody Ransom booted one in the ninth.
Ouchies: Hideki Matsui apparently tweaked his neck while swinging a bat a couple of days ago, but was still scheduled to take BP today.
Bonus Cut: Third baseman Marcos Vechionacci, another low-minors player with zero chance of factoring into a position battle, was reassigned to minor league camp.
More: This is utterly unrelated, but fun stuff from Jack Curry on some old cat-and-mouse games between Jason Giambi and David Cone.