It was the first day of interleague play, which meant not just the Yankees had played but for the Yankees it was an unhappy ending to the season opener. Taking the mound was R.A Dickey for the Mets and for the Yankees was Freddy Garcia. Both pitchers had pitched well, but unfortunately the Yankees offense couldn’t come from behind and take the victory.
The only Yankee run that was scored was a home run by Mark Teixeira, which was almost brought back in the park by Carlos Beltran, but a fan reached for it. The Mets had tied the game with a Justin Turner RBI double and later led the game with a Daniel Murphy home run. Garcia turned the ball over to Joba in the 8th and David Robertson in the 9th, but the Yankees were unable to capitalize on all the opportunities they had. Brett Gardner stranded the bases loaded with a force out, and Curtis Granderson, Teixeira and A-Rod couldn’t bring home Gardner and Derek Jeter.
With that loss the Yankees fall to third place with the Red Sox taking second.
Note: Derek Jeter had one hit which made his magic number 29 to reach 3,000; Brett Gardner stole his 6th stolen base this year, making his stolen base percentage .500; Alex Rodriguez continues to struggle at the plate after hitting in Baltimore striking out 2 times; Tomorrow A.J Burnett takes the mound against Chris Capuano. Burnett’s last appearance in a game was in Wednesdays 4-1 win over Baltimore as a pinch runner.
The New York Yankees are getting ready to play the final 2 games of Spring Training before packing it up to New York where the weather is cooler than in Tampa Florida. The Yankees had changed there mechanics, gained new teammates and have lost some old ones. Let’s take a look at what the staring Yankees had been up to.
Derek Jeter: There has been a lot of talk around Derek Jeter during this Spring Training. Starting with Hank Steinbrenner making the comment that some people need to stop “building mansions.” while Jeter is the only one who actually owns a mansion. Jeter was able to shut Steinbrenner up by putting up excellent numbers during Spring Training. Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long had spoken to him about his stride and how to lessen it, which has done wonders for Jeter. Making headlines lately had been both Jeter and Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner, on who will be the lead off hitter. Girardi had came up with the solution that Jeter will bat lead off against left hand pitching. It looks as if Jeter is ready to bounce back after a bad 2010 season which will be a sigh of relief to Yankee fans.
Mark Teixeira: Teixeira had one goal in mind, to turn his slumping from April to March. If Tex is trying to slump in March, it’s not working. He is having a great Spring, and hopefully that same attitude that he has in Spring Training will go beyond into the season. Despite him firing his agent Scott Boras, there hasn’t been much on Tex this Spring Training, which is pretty good.
Alex Rodriguez: If there was someone who had opened eyes during the course of Spring Training, it was Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod has been a home run hitting machine during Spring Training, but people are wondering if he should save all of his energy for the regular season. For the first time since Rodriguez’s hip surgery, he was given the OK to work out at 100%, and Rodriguez had slimmed down since last season. A-Rod’s goal for this season? To bat at least a .300 because as he nicely commented, he is NOT a .270 hitter even though his home run and RBI numbers were amazing.
Robinson Cano: After coming off a MVP type seaosn in 2010, it seems that Robinson Cano is having a tough time getting started. Only batting a .250 average since the beginning of Spring Training, Cano has been heating up towards the end of Spring Training, hitting his second home run during the Twins 7-6 win yesterday. Even though it’s not looking good for Cano right now, there is no doubt he will be on fire during the season, which I predict he will hit 25-30 homers and have approximatley over 100 RBI’s.
Jorge Posada: Our favorite catcher, but he had been stripped from his title and now takes on a new role: DH. Numerically Posada has one of his worst averages this spring, but on the plus side, his on base percentage is where it needs to be. Posada had played some first base during the season when Mark Teixeira was not in the lineup, and even though at first he looked uncomfertable, he seemed to have been looking more comfertable as time went on, but during the regular season first base is Tex’s. In the final year of his contract, Posada said that he would like to put up good numbers for the Yankees to consider him for another contract in 2012, in which Posada believes that if the slight chance the Yankees dont’ want him back he will look for another team. Let’s just get through the season first before we get into the off season okay Jorge?
Curtis Granderson: The Grandy Man can right? Curtis had put up his best Spring Training numbers ever with a .385 average and if Grandy was making a speech, he would be thanking Kevin Long for the tutorial. Grandy’s swing had taken an effect on him, with him hitting 3 home runs. Unfortunately Granderson’s Spring Training was cut short when he suffered an oblique injury during batting practice, with it being uncertain if he will play during the home opener against his former team, the Tigers. Hopefully Grandy can take the swing into the regular season as soon as he gets better.
Nick Swisher: Well, depsite Swisher getting married to Joanna Garcia during the off season, there’s not much to say about the Swishalicious. He’s having a so-so Spring Training, but he is doing well. The most interesting thing about Swisher? He knows how to make the fans, and his teammates laugh. Examples? To catch a fly ball, he jumped into the bullpen and let it fall next to him, earning him chuckles and a talking to by Girardi. Practically what Girardi said was, “That was the best attempt I have ever seen. Don’t do it again.” Besides being the Yankees class clown, he is doing well, but the fans want to see break out numbers from Swisher in the 2011 season.
Brett Gardner: Oh, Mr. Gardner’s spring training. While his average is a mere .255, his on base percentage is a astounding .375 and with 4 stolen bases so far. One thing that might be helping Gardy out though is that he had tweaked his swing. While being laid up during the off season recovering from wrist surgery, Gardner had called Kevin Long and asked him to help him with his swing, which Long commended Gardner for coming to him instead of the other way around. Gardner’s new swing has both his hands on the bat, which worked out well, since Gardner already has his first home run of the spring. The one thing that Gardner is trying to work on is his bunting. While it has improved, he is still frustrated that he is not getting on base with it, but is working hard on it which shows. Gardner was also rewarded with being the lead off hitter against right handed pitchers while Jeter takes over for left handed pitchers.
Russell Martin: Welcome to the Newest Yankee, Russell Martin who was acquired after spending last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Martin will be the catcher for the New York Yankees, which is why Posada is the DH, makes sense now doesn’t it? Not much to say about Martin except he does well behind the plate, and he seems to work the best with A.J Burnett, since he is one of the only catchers that can catch his crazy curveballs. Martin’s average is so-so with a .250 average, but his on base percentage .368 which means he gets walked…a lot. Russell Martin is doing well with the Yankees, the fans would just like to see all that get into the season. Though we haven’t seen much, we believe Russell Martin is a valuable asset to the Yankees.
With the Yankee hitters all getting into there groove for the season, the Yankees had been looking for 2 pitchers who could be in the rotation ever since Andy Pettite had reitred. Here is the official starting rotation for the Yankees.
1. CC Sabathia
2. A.J Burnett (Moved to the number 2 spot)
3. Phil Hughes (Promoted from the number 5 spot)
4. Ivan Nova
5. Freddy Garcia
The Yankees new long man is Bartolo Colon, in which the Yankees traded Sergio Mitre for Chris Dickerson from the Brewers.
Yes the Yankees are getting into full gear this spring and prepare to take all of there hard work into the season. Will the Yankees win a 2011 World Series and get there 28th pennant? Who knows, but from the looks of things this team is looking really good.
The New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies both proved something during the home and home games. For the Yankees, it is possible to win while working out the kinks of your starting rotation, and for the Phillies, it is possible to lose with a stellar starting rotation. The first game of the spring training season, the Phillies came out on top 5-4, after Colin Curtis dropped a blooped ball in left field, letting 2 runs score. One of the only mistakes Girardi made in that game was taking out every single starting player and replacing them with rookies (minus Colin Curtis and Eduardo Nunez). The Yankees were upset with their loss, but that gave them hope for a win when they reached Clearwater Florida.
Game 2 was a little different. There was no Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, or Mark Teixeira. Girardi had decided to leave them back at Steinbrenner Field to continue working on their batting and fielding. The only 4 starters that made the trip were Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Jorge Posada and all four of the starters proved to be useful. Girardi had put Gardner in the lead off spot, just like he had done in the past when Derek Jeter was unable to play, and Gardner brought the magic touch to the Yankees earning a walk in the 4th, but one out later, Curtis Granderson hammered a home run to the left field wall. It was so impressive, YES correspondents Michael Kay and Ken Singleton pointed out they “had never seen Granderson hit a home run to left field before.” Those hitting tutorials with Kevin Long sure paid off with Granderson. In the 6th inning, Gardner started that inning a little differently. He hit a double off minor league pitcher Justin DeFratus. After that, it was all over for the Phillies. Swisher, Granderson and Posada each had back to back to back doubles which lead to the Yankees leading 6-0. The Phillies tacked on 3 runs, but one of the biggest home runs was from someone trying to win a job on the Yankees Major League team, Jorge Vasquez. He hit his second home run, in two games in the 9th inning, replacing Eric Chavez. His power was talked about on blogs after he hit the home run, and if I were Girardi I would heavily consider Jorge Vasquez to get the back up first base job in case Teixeira can’t play. Yankees won Game 2, 7-3.
Now, the Yankees are considering 2 spots for the starting rotation. They already have CC Sabathia, A.J Burnett and Phil Hughes (who I haven’t seen yet in any Spring Training game). The four main pitchers fighting for the two spots are Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre and Freddy Garcia. I haven’t seen Freddy Garcia pitch yet, but from what I had saw, I would seriously consider Ivan Nova for one of the rotation spots IF he can go more than 5 innings. During the 6th inning, he always runs out of gas. Bartolo Colon worried me a bit. He was good, but he claimed he wanted to lose 25 pounds during Spring Training. It’s not impossible, but I think he should have considered that during the off season like Sabathia did. Mitre was impressive, but I believe he would be more suited for the bullpen to accompany David Robertson and Boone Logan.
CC Sabathia will take the mound today against the Tigers at 1:05pm Eastern Time. MLB.TV members can listen live with Gameday Audio. The next game to be viewed on Yes is Wednesday’s game which will feature A.J Burnett.