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Spring Game 23: Blue Jays at Yankees

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Posada C
Damon LF
Swisher 1B
Matsui DH
Nady RF
Ransom 3B
Cabrera CF
Berroa 2B
Pena SS

Pitching today: A.J. Burnett followed by Mariano Rivera, Edwar Ramirez and Dan Giese.

Inglett RF
Hill 2B
Lind DH
Overbay 1B
Lane CF
Bautista LF
Campbell 3B
Chavez C
McDonald SS

Pitching today: Casey Janssen, David Purcey, Edgar Estanga, Dave Shinkse and Seth Overbey.

Notes: Burnett, of course, will be facing his old team. He has not allowed a run in six innings and was perfect over four innings in his last outing. … The Yankees have won six straight and eight of their last nine. … Mariano Rivera is scheduled to pitch an inning while Jorge Posada will again catch. This will be his third game behind the plate.

WHO’S YOUR GUY?: Check out the previous thread [2] if you haven’t already People are talking about players they follow because of some connection in their lives. It’s interesting to read some of the stories.

Back with much more later on.

UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: A lot of people have asked about the starters for upcoming games. So …

Friday: Hughes vs. Minnesota (Pettitte will pitch in a minor-league game)
Saturday: Joba vs. Detroit (and Rick Porcello. How great is that?)
Sunday: Aceves vs. Tampa Bay (CC will pitch in a minor-league game)
Monday: Tomko vs. Philadelphia (Wang will pitch in a minor-league game)
Tuesday: Giese vs. Boston (Burnett will pitch in a minor-league game)
Wednesday: Team is off (Pettitte will pitch in a minor-league game).

UPDATE, 4:27 p.m.: Yankees are taking BP now. I have some interviews to conduct. So barring any news, I’ll be back around game time.

UPDATE, 6:46 p.m.: Just updated the pitching schedule above. Wang and Burnett will pitch in the minors next week.

In terms of other news: Matsui will play in a minor-league game on Monday to get some hacks. The Yankees are at Philly and there will be no DH. … Cano took grounders during BP and will play second tomorrow for at least six innings, Girardi said. … Marte threw another bullpen and is set to pitch on Sunday. … Phil Coke took a ball of his left leg yesterday and has a bad bruise. He took it easy today but will pitch sometime over the weekend.

The biggest “news” was that Girardi declared that Melky Cabrera remains in the mix for CF. While Brett Gardner has been piling up hits (.382/.447/.765), the Melkman is “playing at a high level” according to the manager.

Melky is .242/.342/.364. But he has swung the bat better of late.

I’m not convinced Gardner is an everyday CF over the long term. Until we see him get more than a month of playing time, it’s hard to judge, But Gardner brings more to the table than Cabrera. Melky switch hits and has a strong arm. Gardner is a much more versatile offensive player, much faster and runs better routes to balls in the gaps. Melky chases balls like he’s dizzy at times.

I’m still convinced that Brian Cashman wants to make a deal for an established CF.

UPDATE, 7:19 p.m.: At long last, A.J. Burnett has to pitch out of the stretch as Joe Inglett leads off with a triple.

UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: That was close. But Overbay goes 4-6-3 to end the inning. Burnett threw 15 pitches, 8 strikes.

UPDATE, 7:34 p.m.: The Yankees loaded the bases on Janssen with one out when he was taken out of the game with an apparent injury.

Janssen is coming back from shoulder surgery. Brian Burres is pitching now.

UPDATE, 7:43 p.m.: Burres wiggled out of trouble, fanning Nady looking and getting Ransom to bounce into a force.

UPDATE, 7:50 p.m.: Yep, Janssen came out with what they’re calling “right shoulder tightness.” That can’t be good. … Meanwhile, Burnett is in trouble again. Runner on third and one out. I knew he was no damn good.

UPDATE, 7:53 p.m.: The fears have been realized as Burnett allows a run after seven scoreless innings.

UPDATE, 7:54 p.m.: Uh, oh. Burnett just took a line drive off his left arm. But he’s staying in.

UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.: The Yankees have rallied back to take a 3-1 lead. Ramiro Pena, Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher had RBI doubles.

UPDATE, 8:38 p.m.: Burnett is done after 3.1 innings, having reached his pitch count. He didn’t have command of his pitches and still allowed only one run on three hits and three walks. He’s responsible for the runner on first.

Brian Bruney in to pitch.

UPDATE, 8:46 p.m.: The line on Burnett: 3.1 3 1 1 3 1. One wild pitch. 61 pitches, 33 strikes.

UPDATE, 9:05 p.m.: Brian Bruney just got pulled after yet another walk. He was all over the place tonight.

Cue the incoherent commenters begging for Joba to be returned to the bullpen. Because a set-up man is far more valuable than a starter. Everybody knows that.

UPDATE, 9:44 p.m.: We talk to the starting pitcher during the game in spring training. So they announced in the press box that A.J. was ready to talk. By the time we got down there, Mo had thrown five pitches and retired the side.

I guess he pitched well; I didn’t see it.

UPDATE, 9:58 p.m.: Eduardo Nunez, who is having a terrific spring, just lined a two-run homer inside the pole in left. He’s 21. Yankees lead 7-3. This would be seven in a row.