It was an interesting day in camp as the pitchers threw live batting practice to the hitters. I watched Mike Mussina and Chien-Ming Wang face Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu and Jesus Montero.
The format was pretty simple. Each pitcher threw 35 pitches. The hitters rotated every five pitches. The pitchers threw from behind a screen to a catcher who was in the batting cage.
There was one moderately hard-hit ball off Mussina. He kept his pitches down and looked very good. Wang gave up five line drives, four off the bat of Montero. “He’s a strong young man, a strong hitter,” Joe Girardi said.
Joba Chamberlain, who got the loudest cheer from the crowd, had a nice changeup and looked good. He faced a different set of hitters — Hideki Matsui, Jose Molina, Eric Duncan and Jason Lane.
The pitchers also had a lot of running today. An exhausted Mussina came back to the clubhouse and said, “Tomorrow we’ll go to the airport to pull planes with our teeth.”
Phil Hughes sat slumped in his chair. He’s working out with Andy Pettitte in the morning and doing the running in the afternoon. By the end of the day, he can barely move.
“You’re only 22, you should be fine,” Mussina said.
“I’m 21,” Hughes said.
“See?” Mussina said. “I’m old, I can complain.”