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Spring Game 32: Pirates at Yankees

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Jeter SS
Damon LF
Swisher 1B
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Nady RF
Pena 3B
Gardner CF

Pitching today: A.J. Burnett, who is scheduled for at least 90 pitches. Rivera, Coke, Marte and Veras are on the list to follow.

Morgan LF
Sanchez 2B
McLouth CF
Doumit C
Adam LaRoche 1B
Hinske DH
Moss RF
Andy LaRoche 3B
Bixler SS

Pitching today: Zach Duke. Chris Bootcheck, Sean Burnett, Jason Davis, Craig Hansen and Lincoln Holdzkom are also on the trip.

Notes: There is rain in the forecast, so the 1:15 scheduled start could be in doubt. … The Yankees are not getting on the field until around 11:15 a.m. and will have only a brief workout before the game. … Back with more later on.

UPDATE, 10:14 a.m.: Yep, it’s raining. No word on the game yet.

UPDATE, 11:17 p.m.: They’re taking the tarp off the field. Looks like there will be baseball here at Big Stein Field.

UPDATE, 11:21 p.m.: The Yankees added six minor-league players to the roster today. In case you’re headed to the game, here are their numbers:

75 Francisco Cervelli C
85 Carmen Angelini INF
84 Justin Snyder INF
79 Seth Fortenberry OF
76 Eric Fryer OF
71 Melky Mesa OF

Talked to Jorge Posada about Chien-Ming Wang’s pitching yesterday. He said it was so windy at the complex that Wang was literally blown off the mound a few times. The two home runs he allowed would have been medium-depth fly balls on another day, Posada said.

Derek Jeter laughed at the idea of his bruised pinkie knuckle meriting a back page on one of the tabloids. “I didn’t even know I was hurt,” he said.

Jonathan Albaladejo talked to reporters this morning. He said that in 2007 he asked for (and was given) his release from the Pirates because he was going nowhere on their Double-A team. After sitting around for a few weeks at his home in Puerto Rico, Albaladejo was about to sign with a team in the Mexican League when the Nationals called.

He signed with Washington on May 3 and made his major league debut on Sept. 4. After Albaladejo appeared in 14 games, the Nats traded him to the Yankees for RHP Tyler Clippard on Dec. 5, 2007.

He made the Yankees out of spring training last season and it looks like he will again. Meanwhile the Pirates are desperate for decent relief pitchers. Turns out they had somebody all along.

UPDATE, 11:30 a.m.: This game will be on WCBS back in New York. There are no more games on YES until the Chicago series.

UPDATE, 12:32 p.m.: Jack Wilson was scratched. Brian Bixler will play SS for the Pirates instead.

The sun is out in Tampa and there will be a game.

UPDATE, 1:07 p.m.: They just finished a nice pre-game ceremony to dedicate the 9-11 memorial outside the stadium. The best part was asking the police officers, fire fighters and military personnel in the crowd to stand and be recognized. That was a good touch.

UPDATE, 1:27 p.m.: Burnett caught a break. He allowed a double with one out then walked McLourth on four pitches. But Doumit lined to Cano and the Yankees caught Sanchez off second to end the inning.

UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: Yankees lead 1-0. Jeter infield single, goes to third on a Damon single and scored on a chop to third by Swisher.

Meanwhile the “Hip Hip Jorge” cheer is played out.

UPDATE, 1:41 p.m.: A.J. Burnett can’t find the strike zone and when he does, it gets hit hard. LaRoche lined to second. Hinske then crushed a 3-1 pitch over the fence in right. Now Moss has lined a 2-1 pitch into center.


UPDATE, 1:59 p.m.: Wow, Ramiro Pena just made a terrific play. Nyjer Morgan bunted and Pena raced in from third, bare-handed the ball and made a strong throw across his body to get the runner by a step.

Great play. The Yankees have an interesting decision to make with that utility spot. Angel Berroa is a “name” but Pena has played his way into consideration.

To me, you keep Pena. He’s twice as good on defense and he can pinch run. Isn’t that what you want from a utility infielder? Berroa has a better bat but how often is that player going to hit?

UPDATE, 2:34 p.m.: Burnett, who looks awful, gave up another run in the fourth thanks to a double, two walks and an error. He got a DP to escape further damage.

Meanwhile. Robinson Cano just hit a bomb that struck the rook of the concession stand on the right field concourse.

Nady walked and Ramiro Pena (there’s that name again) reached on a bunt single. Yanks are in business, 1st and 2nd, nobody out. Score is 2-2.

UPDATE, 2:37 p.m.: GGBG bunt single, too. Holy smoke, young guys bunting and the Yankees running. What is going on here? Bases loaded and nobody out for the captain.

UPDATE, 2:40 p.m.: Sac fly. 3-2 Yankees.

UPDATE, 2:42 p.m.: Damon pulls a ball into right and Pena scored. 4-2 Yankees. Gardner on third with one out. Bet Swisher finds a way to get him in.

UPDATE, 2:44 p.m.: Ground rule double to right, a rocket. Yeah, that got him in. Now it’s 5-2 Yankees.

Matsui single scores Damon. 6-2. Look at what those two bunt singles produced.

UPDATE, 2:57 p.m.: The Yankees scored seven in that inning and lead 8-2.

UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: Burnett is getting rocked again as the Pirates have scored four runs. Ryan Doumit just belted a three-run homer.

A.J. has allowed six runs on nine hits and we’re in the fifth inning. Ugly. One of those “hey, it’s just spring training” days.

As I write that, Adam LaRoche just hit a ball that may have bounced onto Dale Mabry Highway. Yankees lead 8-7 and Burnett is out.

UPDATE, 3:14 p.m.: The final line on Burnett: 4.1 innings, 10 hits, 7 runs, 6 earned runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout. 83 pitches / 53 strikes.

Marte is in now.

UPDATE, 3:24 p.m.: Marte allowed another run and it’s 8-8.

But The Little G just led off of the bottom of the fifth inning with a single. He’s 2 for 3. Counting the Team USA game, Gardner is 23 of 55 (.418) this spring.

UPDATE, 3:34 p.m.: Now pitching, Mariano Rivera. There have been 14 runs scored in the last two innings. Hopefully he can bring some sense back to this game.

UPDATE, 3:24 p.m.: G.O.A.T.

There was a bloop single by Morgan then Mo struck out the side. 16 pitches / 10 strikes.

His line this spring: 6 2 0 0 0 9.

UPDATE, 4:14 p.m.: We just spoke to Burnett, He said his mechanics were messed up. “I was out of whack all day,” he said. “My arm feels fine.”

The Yankees also got RHP Ivan Nova back. He was taken by the Padres in the Rule 5 draft. Nova was assigned to Double-A Trenton.

UPDATE, 4:27 p.m.: Yankees have runners on first and second with one out in the eighth inning. The score is still 8-8.

Can’t wait for Carolina-Oklahoma.

UPDATE, 4:29 p.m.: Carmen Angelini just blooped one over second base. Run scores and the Yankees lead 9-8. Nice moment for him.