The Yankees and Reds were interrupted by rain twice, the second time with the game tied 7-7 in the tenth inning, which ended the contest there. Phil Hughes got lit up, and Shelley Duncan and Melky Cabrera (who apparently punched Evan Longoria in the back of the head during Wednesday's mele) were both suspended for the first three games of the regular season. All in all, not the Yankees' best day.
L - Johnny Damon (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Hideki Matsui (DH)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
R - Shelley Duncan (1B)
R - Jason Lane (LF)
R - Cody Ransom (2B)
L - Brett Gardner (LF)
Pitchers: Phil Hughes, Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez, Heath Phillips, Chris Britton, Dan Giese
Subs: Wilson Betemit (1B), Bernie Castro (2B/CF), Nick Green (2B), Alberto Gonzalez (SS), Chris Woodward (3B), Kyle Anson (C), Greg Porter (PH/RF), Justin Christian (LF), Jason Brown (DH), Brett Gardner shifted to center field before coming out of the game.
Opposition: Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Joey Votto and filler.
Big Hits: A three-run homer by Alex Rodriguez (1 for 3). Doubles by Derek Jeter (2 for 3), Johnny Damon (1 for 4), and Jorge Posada (1 for 3).
Who Pitched Well: Edwar Ramirez retired all five men he faced, striking out four of them. Jonathan Albaladejo retired four of the five men he faced, the one exception being a hit batsman. Dan Giese pitched around a double for two scoreless innings, striking out two.
Who Didn't:Phil Hughes was flat out lit up. He gave up four runs on nine hits, five of them doubles, in 2 2/3 innings. This after having held his competition hitless over his previous five spring innings. Hughes threw 72 percent of his 66 pitches for strikes, which suggests he was missing in the zone, thus the hard hits and no walks. Heath Phillips, last seen getting rocked and ejected against the Rays, faced five men, two of whom walked, two of whom singled, and two of those four scored. Oh, and he tossed a wild pitch somewhere in the middle there. Chris Britton was good by comparison to those two allowing one run on a single and a double in one inning of work.
Oopsies: A bad throw by Alberto Gonzalez, his third error of the spring.
Ouchies:Andy Pettitte threw 47 pitches in the bullpen before the game and reported no discomfort in his elbow.
Hot Wheels: Two more steals by Brett Gardner (1 for 2, BB) who has five on the spring. "He's an exciting player," sez the skipper. "He creates havoc."
More: More LaTroy pranks here. Props to Tyler Kepner for this great find. As for those suspensions, Melky might get his reduced to two games on appeal, but whatever happens, Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman have said they won't change who they're going to take north to compensate for the suspensions, which means Jason Lane and Brett Gardner won't get an extra boost from the fact that the Yankees will have to play their opening series against Toronto with just three outfielders on the roster. That's good news for Morgan Ensberg, who will have to decide whether or not to opt out of his minor league deal with the Yankees if he doesn't make the Opening Day roster. Shelley Duncan, however, sounds devastated. Listening to that audio clip from Pete Abe, my heart kinda breaks for the guy. He's like Lenny from Of Mice and Men; the poor guy just doesn't know his own strength. ("Tell me about the World Series, George.") Despite the split squad today, Duncan will be in the lineup facing the Rays, which seems like a good move on Girardi's part to deliberately defuse this thing. Nonetheless, the umps will be on high alert.
Shameless Self-Promotion: Yeah, so the Yanks vs. Rays battle continues on YES this afternoon, but those of you in north Jersey should tape it and come see Steven Goldman, Derek Jacques and myself at the Borders at (or rather, outside of) the Rockaway Mall at 2pm today where we'll be discussiong Baseball Prospectus 2008, as well as fielding your questions on the Yankees, Mets, your upcoming fantasy draft, or whatever else is on your mind these days. [Update: Bad day for me, too. My car crapped out, so I won't be able to make this event]