CC Sabathia was scheduled for four innings this afternoon. He wound up pitching five scoreless and still didn’t reach his pitch count. Going head-to-head against Phillies ace Roy Halladay, Sabathia was back to his old self after a rocky start his last time out against the Nationals.
“That’s pretty much the CC we’re used to seeing,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Sabathia said he was sharp enough to work on some specific things today, throwing changeups when he was down in the count and mixing in some first-pitch two-seamers. His delivery was “cleaner,” he said.
“I have the pause in my delivery,” Sabathia said. “I was kind of floating, drifting through it (last time) instead of just staying there, gathering, and then going. We worked on that in the bullpen, and I was conscious of it in the bullpen here today and trying to translate into the game.”
• Sabathia was hit in the thigh by a comebacker but stayed in the game. He didn’t even let the medical staff check him during the game, though he did have it wrapped afterward. “I’ve got a lot of meat down there,” he said.
• This early in spring training, and the two starting pitchers — Sabathia and Roy Halladay — combined for 11 scoreless, walkless innings. “Look at the two starters we’re looking at,” Girardi said. “You don’t see it a lot (this early), but if it’s going to happen, it’s usually two starters like that.”
• Warner Madrigal was scheduled to pitch today, but he felt some soreness in his arm. “He might be shut down for a few days,” Girardi said. Madrigal is coming back from surgery, but Girardi said today’s soreness was in a different spot.
• Dave Robertson faced one hitter this afternoon, which was the plan. Robertson threw 31 pitches his last time out and Girardi just wanted to get him in the game for one hitter. Of course, that one hitter tripled.
• After Robertson, Rule 5 pick Robert Fish had a rough sixth inning. He got three outs, one of which was a sac fly and one of which was a pickoff. John Mayberry Jr. hit a two-run home run off him, one of three hits against Fish.
• Mark Prior allowed his first runs of the spring. The Phillies scored three runs against him, but two were unearned because of an error by Justin Maxwell. Prior gave up two walks and an RBI double.
• The Yankees had a total of four hits today, on apiece by Brett Gardner, Russell Martin, Ramiro Pena and Jorge Posada. All of those hits were singles.
• In his spring debut, Ronnie Belliard went 0-for-2. Given the way Eric Chavez is hitting — and the way Jorge Vazquez is hitting for that matter — it’s really difficult to imagine Belliard doing enough to make this roster.
• Brett Gardner will get one at-bat as a designated hitter tomorrow, then he’ll make the road trip to play center field on Saturday.
• Girardi said he’s planning to go on the road for tomorrow’s split squad game against the Blue Jays because he wants to see Ivan Nova pitch. He’ll leave someone else to manage the home game and watch Phil Hughes. Why not have Nova pitch at home? Hughes has already made two starts on the road, and he’s locked into a rotation spot. He gets to stay home this time.
• Alfredo Aceves was knocked around today, allowing four hits and three earned runs through 2.1 innings for the Red Sox.
Associated Press photos of Sabathia meeting with Russell Martin and Jorge Posada, and of Girardi talking to Tony Pena