Russell Martin told Joe Girardi that he wanted to catch today. He wanted at least one more spring game with the Yankees ace, and Martin was behind the plate for another strong CC Sabathia start: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
“Me and Russ, we’re pretty much locked in,” Sabathia said. “I didn’t have to shake at all and that’s good. At this point in the season, we’ve had a couple of starts, and for us to be on the same page, communication is pretty good.”
Sabathia said he was happy with everything today. His breaking ball was good, his changeup was good and he was able to locate his fastball. He knee felt good, his arm felt strong and Sabathia felt at ease with the new guy behind the plate.
“(Martin)’s going to be our guy and you want to have that relationship and not have any confusion and be shaking off a bunch,” he said. “I feel like we’re on the same page.”
• Mark Teixeira hit his first home run this afternoon, adding one more element to an already strong spring training. He’s batting .342 with a team-high eight doubles. “I see him in the cage all the time taking a ton of swings,” Girardi said. “I’ll walk by and it’ll be late, or it’ll be early, and you’ll hear bam, bam, bam. And it’s Tex. He’s put his mind to this.”
• Girardi said after the game that he’s still no certain when Joba Chamberlain or Pedro Feliciano will pitch again. Chamberlain seems closer to a game than Feliciano. Both expect to be ready for the regular season.
• Guess Boone Logan’s back and arm are feeling fine. He struck out the side in the ninth inning.
• Speaking of the bullpen, Dave Robertson struck out the only batter he faced and Rafael Soriano pitched a hitless eighth. Robertson, Soriano and Logan combined for this pitching line: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
• Girardi said he’ll continue to experiment with the top of the order, getting looks at both Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter in the leadoff spot. “We won 8-1,” he said. “It worked pretty good.”
• Gardner wore a shin guard over his right shin but said he felt fine. “Feeling a lot better than I thought it would,” he said. He went 2-for-4 has his batting average back up .286.
• It’s been a little overlooked lately, lost in all of the A-Rod home runs and leadoff debate, but Curtis Granderson is still having a terrific spring. He had two more hits today and is batting .385 with three triples and a team-high 11 runs. His 15 hits are one less than Rodriguez.
• Jesus Montero had his second spring double today. In his past six games Montero is 4-for-11 (.364) with two doubles, three runs, one walk and three strikeouts. He was hitless in his 11 previous at-bats.
• Justin Maxwell and Ronnie Belliard also doubled today. It was Belliard’s second spring hit. He’s batting .143. He also made an error today.
• Nick Swisher had a base hit and two RBI today, but he’s bigger moment came when he threw out Ryan Howard at the plate in the sixth inning. Martin was blocking the plate, and when Howard knew he was out, he slowed down to avoid a collision. Teixeira went out of his way to high five Martin after the play.
• You could easily make the case that this was the Yankees best game of the spring: Their starter went deep, their everyday guys hit really well and they won 8-1. “You want to see that,” Girardi said. “You want to see it all start to come together. Today, that’s how you draw it up.”
Associated Press photos of Sabathia, Teixeira and Martin (with Howard)