The Yankees suffered their first spring-training loss this afternoon, falling to the Twins 7-5. See my liveblog of the game in the previous post.
L - Johnny Damon (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Bobby Abreu (RF)
R - Alex Rodriguez (DH)
L - Jason Giambi (1B)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
S - Wilson Betemit (3B)
S - Melky Cabrera (CF)
Pitchers: Ian Kennedy, Heath Phillips, Joba Chamberlain, Jonathan Albaladajo, Edwar Ramirez, Chris Britton, Ross Ohlendorf
Subs: Shelley Duncan (1B), Nick Green (2B), Chris Woodward (SS), Morgan Ensberg (3B), Francisco Cervelli (C), Jason Lane (RF), Brett Gardner (CF), Colin Curtis (LF), Greg Porter (DH), Bernie Castro (PR)
Big Hits: Consecutive doubles to deep dead center by Robinson Cano (3 for 3) and Wilson Betemit (1 for 3), and a solo homer by Shelley Duncan (1 for 2). Derek Jeter was 2 for 2 with a walk.
Who Pitched Well: Heath Phillips tossed a perfect third inning retiring a lefty and two righties (one of the latter via strikeout and the other two men via grounders). Chris Britton retired the only two men he faced. Ross Ohlendorf allowed a well-placed weak ground ball for a single, but struck out the other two men he faced with some wicked stuff.
Who Didn't: Ian Kennedy didn't seem sharp as he threw just 56 percent of his 34 pitches for strikes and allowed a solo homer to Delmon Young, but he didn't walk anyone, only allowed one other hit, a single, and got four of his five outs on the ground (two via a double play in the first). Joba Chamberlain had a ratio of strikes to balls that was similar to Kennedy's (54 percent of 35 pitches), but also got four of his six outs on the ground (plus one via strikeout). He allowed three baserunners in his two frames, one via walk, one via single, and one via a two-run home run by minor leaguer Garrett Jones. Neither pitched well, but neither was awful, and it is still the first week of March. Jonathan Albaladejo allowed a run on four hits (one a double by Joe Mauer), was charged with a blown save, and had to be pulled with one out in the seventh (though he did strikeout two of the five men he retired). Edwar Ramirez struck out Felix Molina to end Albaladejo's seventh inning, but ran into trouble in the eighth. After a leadoff walk, the Yankees' replacement fielders only got one out on a double-play ball. Ramirez then hit a batter, and gave up an infield single and a two-run double. He finally got that second out only because of a great diving catch by Colin Curtis. Then came the hook.
Nice Plays: Curtis's diving catch coming in toward the line in left was the highlight, but Melky Cabrera had a nice day in the field, making a one charging catch on the run in shallow right center and later gunning out a tagging runner for a 8-5 double play. Jason Giambi also had a good day in the field, making one leaping stab of a ball over his head and later circling a well-hit ball down the line nicely for an unassisted putout.
Oopsies: Nothing really, that missed double play was the only poor play. Chris Woodward did a good job of fielding a hard grounder at short, but the ball rolled up his arm on the transfer. Second baseman Nick Green's pivot throw bounced, and Shelley Duncan didn't even come close to corralling it at first base.
Ouchies: Hideki Matsui finally took some batting practice after skipping a few days due to a stiff neck that resulted from his last BP session, though he supposedly wasn't swinging at full strength today. Scott Strickland (sore elbow) was scheduled to throw of a bullpen mound today.
More: Smiles abound in this post from Tyler Kepner, which has the good news on Bobby Murcer's biopsy (it was just scar tissue!) and a humorous note from the intrasquad game that took place this morning. That play involved Chase Wright, who now has yet another incident to live down. Also, here's a link to some links from Chad Jennings of the excellent SWB Yankees Blog, including an excellent piece on Kei Igawa by Kepner.