Nick Swisher expressed remorse after the Yankees’ 4-3 win over the Twins.
“It’s sad,” Swisher said. “I didn’t mean to do that.”
He injured Minnesota’s new second baseman, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, with a hard take-out slide to the inside of the bag in the seventh. Swisher broke up the double play, but he also fractured Nishioka’s left fibula. Before Nishioka left Yankee Stadium, Swisher visited with him and told him that he was sorry.
“I’m glad I got a chance to talk to him,” Swisher said. “It definitely eased my mind. He told me, ‘It’s not your fault. Don’t feel bad.’ I know I play hard, but you don’t ever want to go in there trying to hurt somebody.”
Ron Gardenhire gave Swisher a pass.
“It was a good slide,” the Minnesota manager said. “Swisher is a clean player.”
A.J. Burnett was healthier than during his first start when he was plagued by sinus and throat infections, yet the result was the same. He won again. But he has been Mr. April for the Yankees, now 7-0 with a 3.91 ERA in 12 starts during this month in three seasons here. He knows he needs to find the consistency in the rest of the months.
Still, his changeup has been effective for him so far.
“I’ve said all along it’s a big pitch for me,” Burnett said. “Hopefully this year the stubbornness is gone and I can use it more like I did today.”
Joe Girardi likes what he has seen so far. Burnett has tweaked his delivery slightly since last season.
“I’ve seen a difference in his stuff,” Girardi said. “His breaking ball is totally different from last year. It had more of the downward (movement) that we were accustomed to seeing in 2009 and that I watched so much on tape in 2008, when I watched him pitch against us.”
Rafael Soriano pitched a one-hit eighth and certainly had better command than Tuesday night when he walked a career-high-tying three and was charged with a career-high-tying four runs in the 5-4, 10-inning loss. He said his arm was looser in this appearance.
“I felt better today,” Soriano said. Yes, he did meet with the media, unlike after the previous outing.
So now it’s Yankees-Red Sox. The three-game series starts Friday at 2:05 with the Phil Hughes and John Lackey as the starters. The Yankees, as they should, are still expecting Boston to be formidable despite its surprising 0-6 start. This will be the Red Sox’s home opener.
“They know they’re a very good club and we know that as well,” Girardi said. “They have veterans. I’m sure there’s no panic in that room.”
It will be interesting to check out the mood outside that room, specifically with the fans in the stands.
“There are 156 games left,” Derek Jeter said. “I’m pretty sure they’ll win their share of games. I think a lot of times people pay too much attention to the first week of the season.”