I’ve been away doing work for the last couple days, so there’s a decent amount to catch up on. The Yankees have dropped two straight, losing to Philly 8-3 today and 5-0 to Tampa yesterday. Wang was very good through five but wore down a bit in the sixth, failing to retire the two batters he faced, and they eventually scored. In the sixth, the Phillies turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 lead, adding three more in the seventh. Wang’s final line was pretty good–5+, 5 hits, 3 runs earned, 2 walks, 2 K’s, and 8 ground outs. Bruney struggled again, giving up two runs earned on two hits, including a homer to Matt Stairs. Giese also struggled, allowing 4 hits, 3 runs earned, and a two-run homer to ex-Yankee Miguel Cairo. The two of them have floundered this Spring, and hopefully Bruney can shake all this off once the season starts. Tomko continues to impress, finishing up the eighth with a hit in a scoreless inning. As things stand now in the race for long reliever/spot starter, the job would seem to be Tomko’s. Teixeira has had a hot Spring, doubling and scoring on Nady’s RBI single.
The offense was bound to cool off, and it did yesterday against Tampa as the Yanks got shut out. Brett the Jet had a single and a walk. Cano had two hits, and Austin Jackson had a triple, but the Yanks got only five hits and four walks against David Price and the Rays. Aceves allowed two hits, a run earned, and a walk in 2 2/3, but the pitching on the whole was poor, walking nine. Igawa finally struggled this Spring, allowing a run on four hits and four walks in just 2 2/3. Otherwise, he was very good, but has been sent down. Marte, however, threw a good inning, working around a walk. Good to see him back and effective after his injury scare/snafu. The defense matched the bad pitching, committing three errors although Melky and Nady contributed an outfield assist apiece. I have to say that Price really impresses me. He has nasty stuff, his arm angle provides extra deception to his pitches, his slider is nasty, and his fastball is dangerous. Honestly, he reminds me of a left-handed Joba–or a younger, slimmer Sabathia.
Pete Abraham has a good article on Jorge’s continued progress back from shoulder surgery. Jorge threw out three of four runners in a minor-league game, one on a change-up he called. That’s a good sign of arm strength. There was also a good tidbit in the piece about Sabathia’s cognizance of runners and Jorge as well, with CC using a slide step to hasten the ball to home and help Jorge. That Sabathia, can’t say enough good about the guy thus far.
Apparently Nady is ahead of Swisher in right field, with Girardi having told Swisher that he’ll be coming off the bench. This should surprise no one, and Swisher handled it professionally, if with a subtle expression of his anger by saying that he’d like to play. I still think Swisher has an important place on this team, and should be given some reps early to keep him sharp, to allow others like Damon and Matsui some time to start fresh, and honestly to put pressure on players. No one gets a free pass to play, especially if someone capable is waiting in the wings. I do like the improved bench strength with Swisher, I must admit.
Jeter returns after the US team was eliminated by Japan last night.