The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Spring Training Game 20: Yankees vs. Orioles

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Thread on Mar 16, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

YANKEES (6-11-2)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

RHP Ivan Nova (0-0, 2.25)
Nova vs. Orioles

ORIOLES (8-8-2)
Robert Andino 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Luke Scott LF
Mark Reynolds 3B
Matt Wieters C
Josh Bell 3B
Cesar Izturis SS

RHP Jim Johnson (0-0, 0.00)
Johnson vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network

WEATHER: It’s been a beautiful day. Wind is blowing out to center field.

UMPIRES: HP Mark Lollo, 1B Eric Cooper, 2B Mark Carlson, 3B Andy Fletcher

ON THE LINE: Ivan Nova wasn’t sharp in his previous start and he needs to bounce back. As the only rotation candidate with options remaining, he’s not necessarily a lock to win a spot. A strong finish to spring training could convince the Yankees that they have to carry him, no matter what the other guys are doing.

OUT OF THE BULLPEN FOR THE YANKEES: Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano will pitch again today. So will Mark Prior and Dave Robertson. Guys like Ryan Pope and Eric Wordekemper are available on standby.

BULLPEN FOR THE ORIOLES: RHP Rick VandenHurk, LHP Mark Hendrickson, LHP Michael Gonzalez, RHP David Riske and LHP Clay Rapada.

FAMILIAR FACE: The Orioles have Randy Winn on their travel squad. Winn opened last season on the Yankees bench, but he was quickly dismissed during the season. He’s in Orioles camp on a minor league deal. Other notable O’s on the trip: Nolan Reimold, Felix Pie and former Yankees infielder Nick Green.

BIRTHDAY IN CENTER: Curtis Granderson turned 30 today.

UPDATE, 7:28 p.m.: Nova looks much better than last time. He hit the first guy, but followed that with a double play — nice play behind the bag by Jeter — and he’s now retired five in a row, getting through the second inning with a 1-0 lead. The Yankees jumped in front when the first three batters had a hit, including an RBI double by Mark Teixeira.

UPDATE, 7:50 p.m.: After a botched bunt attempt, Brett Gardner struck out looking to start a 1-2-3 bottom of the third. It’s still 1-0 Yankees as Nova has settled in so far.

UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: Another double by Teixeira and an RBI single by Posada have pushed the Yankees lead to 2-0 in the fourth. Nova, meanwhile, hasn’t allowed a hit through his four innings. Much, much better performance for him.

UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: I’m sitting next to Brian Costello in the press box, and I just told him that tonight’s game reminds me of the best game I saw Nova pitch in Triple-A. He had something like 14 ground outs that night in Syracuse, locating his fastball down in the zone and getting bad swings at his curveball. He’s that good tonight, and the Orioles are completely overmatched. He’s already through six hitless. Easily the best pitching performance we’ve seen this spring.

UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: Rodriguez’s third spring home run has pushed the Yankees lead to 4-0 heading into the sixth. Here’s Mariano Rivera in relief of Nova, with the no-hitter still intact.

UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.: Nova threw 59 pitches, 41 for strikes.

UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: Nick Swisher just hurdled the bullpen fence trying to make a catch. He’s a crazy man, I tell you. Crazy.

UPDATE, 9:02 p.m.: Nova said three of the four strikeouts came on a new slider. I assumed they were tight curveballs, but Nova said he’s reworked his slider and started throwing it for the first time tonight. It was nasty.




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