Yanks Cream Bucs 9-2

Hideki Matsui drove in four runs with a long homer and a double, the Yanks pounded seven extra-base hits, one Carsten Charles Sabathia fanned seven in four innings, and one Mariano Rivera fanned two in a 1-2-3 fifth–his first inning of work this Spring–as the Yanks rolled over Pittsburgh 9-2.  Jorge had a single, walk, and drove in two, Nady was 2-3 with a hard double to LCF, Teixeira ripped a double into the corner in right and scored on Matsui’s blast, Melky had a double, an RBI, and scored, Miranda doubled and scored when Cano doubled him in, and the Yanks had 13 hits and 4 walks in all today.

But the story was on the mound.  Sabathia was in total control, striking out 2 in each of the first 3 innings, totaling 7 in his four-inning stint. He only allowed a walk and a run.  His fastball was sharp, and his slider was very nasty, especially to lefties.  Sabathia was very impressive, as was Mariano making his first Spring outing in a perfect 1-2-3 fifth, fanning two with ease.  Great to see Mariano back, and looking like himself.  Edwar was good in the sixth, and Aceves cleaned it up in the last three, allowing just the lead-off solo homer in the ninth to Salazar with four hits and a walk in all.  In four of the last five games, the Yanks’ pitching has been dominant and, although Melancon struggled (for the first time) in the ninth of the game Saturday, really the Yanks have had four pretty good pitching performances from their team the last five games. Effective arms would make the injury layoff A-Rod has all the easier to endure.

Joel Sherman has a good article in yesterday’s New York Post about the newly tight-knit Yanks rotation and their camaraderie for each other’s warm-ups.  I can’t say that’s going to hurt the team any.  Nor does what Pete Abraham passes along about Burnett’s other contributions to team chemistry, in addition to his idea about the rotation members watching the others do their warm-ups.  I was thinking about it as I drove to campus today, and thinking about how refreshing it is to have new players contributing to a new, positive team chemistry.  It’s very similar to what occurred in the mid-1990s, when Cone, Tino, Wetteland, Strawberry, then later Brosius and Clemens, among others, added.  They pushed the team in positive directions on the field and in the clubhouse, forming friendships, mentoring young players, and setting examples of preparation and hard work for their teammates and eventual successors to emulate.  I see similar things occurring this year, and that’s a very encouraging thought.

Speaking of encouraging thoughts, Pete Abe mentioned that Girardi tossed Igawa’s name into the hat of candidates for the long reliever job.  After the shivers from that tidbit subside, be relieved to know that Abraham also discussed Mariano’s collecting cash from the players for the clubhouse kids doing the dirty work during Spring Training, as well as Mariano’s five-star comportment with coaches and other players, including Alfredo Aceves.  What a rare privilege it is to have been a Yankees fan during the tenure of the greatest closer and reliever I’ve ever seen, if not ever.

Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 10:08 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Just saw the ending (via Gameday) of Team USA/Puerto Rico. Wow.

  2. I didn’t see it Mike but, based on your comment and the buzz it generated, including a text from Mike, I almost wish I had. It sounds like it was an exciting finish. Not too bad from an injury-depleted team.

  3. it was a hell of a game–you felt either team could win it- we had almost NO bench, but even down 2 runs in the 9th i had a good feeling–then whewn the PR manager stuck with Romero i felt shades of Pedro game 7 – 2003–i swear i did.

    when they finally brought their closer in it was too late. youk worked a bases loaded walk ( it has been really fun rooting for him) and then david wright came through with a big hit down the line and roberts and rollins scampered home for the W.

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