The Yankees have scored six runs in each of their past three games. They’ve won none of them. They’ve put together some sort of late inning rally every time, and they’ve always fallen short.
“We battled back in every game here,” Joe Girardi said. “We scored runs. We just gave up too many.”
Pitching let the Yankees down this home stand. Aside from those first two games against the Twins, the pitching staff struggled in one form or another in five straight games. Tonight it was Andy Pettitte who had by far his worst start of the year, but said he actually didn’t feel too bad. The cutter that Carlos Pena hit for a home run was “just a horrible pitch,” but B.J. Upton went deep on a changeup that Pettitte was pretty happy with and Ben Zobrist homered on a sinker that Pettitte located where he wanted.
“I think they had a pretty good approach against me,” Pettitte said. “For Ben to hit the ball that he hit, he had to be thinking out there and staying out there. Most guys don’t run into the ball and hit it that far the other way like that… I feel like if I didn’t have anything I should be able to go out there and hold them to seven runs. Tonight I felt pretty decent. Definitely a frustrating night, that’s for sure.”
Here’s Joe Girardi’s postgame media session.
• One pitching bright spot was David Robertson, who looked positively dominant again. Two perfect innings with four strikeouts. “He’s thrown the ball better definitely the past few outings,” Girardi said. He seems to be getting back to that form that he had last year.”
• Two offensive bright spots: Three hits from Derek Jeter and another home run from Juan Miranda.
• One big picture bright spot: Curtis Granderson feels good. “So far, no setbacks,” he said. He believes it’s possible — though he admits this is optimistic — that he could get into a rehab game next week.
• I don’t have numbers to back this up, but the Yankees seem to be swinging early in the count quite a bit. “At times guys will do that,” Girardi said. “If you go up and take the first pitch all the time, just throw strike one and now you’re ahead of our hitters. I think hitters can’t fall into just one pattern of hitting. At times they have to be aggressive.”
• Nick Swisher said he felt no pain tonight, but he was disappointed by his two strikeouts. “My first few at-bats weren’t what I was expecting,” Swisher said. “My left side’s still a click off.”
• Chad Moeller got to the stadium around 6:30 after battling traffic from the airport.
• Mike Ashmore is reporting that the Yankees have signed catcher Rene Rivera to a minor league deal and assigned him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Associated Press photos of Francisco Cervelli and Juan Miranda.
Notes from Saturday • 04.03.10
It looks like Mark Teixeira is running the bases in that picture. He’s actually sprinting out of Tampa.
The Yankees are happily making their way to Boston this afternoon. Like Derek Jeter said yesterday, the team’s been anxious to break camp for about a week now, and Anthony DiComo had a great little tidbit about Joba Chamberlain begging Nick Swisher not to take any pitches today.
There was a lot of first-pitch swinging and a lot of taking it easy around the bases in this afternoon’s game against the Yankees minor leaguers.
The good news is, the Yankees are making their way north with a roster that ultimately wasn’t affected by the injuries of the past week or so. All of the questionable players reported to camp this morning feeling better than the day before. The roster is set. The lineup is decided.
Spring training is over.
The season begins tomorrow.
• There’s Jeter and Jesus. That’s the Yankees captain and their top prospect in an AP photo from today’s game. Credit the Associated Press for the Teixeira photo as well.
• Jorge Posada played today, so he’s clearly good to go, and manager Joe Girardi said he expects Nick Johnson to also be in the Opening Day lineup. “He should be okay tomorrow,” Girardi said. “He feels pretty good today.” Johnson said he’s still sore, but he has no worries about being able to play tomorrow.
• Damaso Marte was cleared to play catch today, and Francisco Cervelli was cleared to catch in the bullpen, take batting practice and ride a stationary bike. Cervelli will run tomorrow and said he could have played today if necessary. His hamstring is, “a little tight, but not like the first day.”
• Mike Rivera was released.
• Girardi on the decision to send Boone Logan to Triple-A: “He did everything right and pitched really well. We’re excited about him. We believe at some point he’ll have an impact.”
• Marcus Thames on making the team after his slow start to the spring: “(I was) beating myself up a little bit, trying to do a little bit too much because I’ve always wanted to come back here and play,” Thames said. “That day I hit the home run (against Detroit), that felt good. I hadn’t put a charge in one all spring and it finally happened. I finally got that feel back.”
• Thames hit another homer today, his third in the past eight days.
• In case you missed it in the game post, neither of the players the Yankees lost in the Rule 5 Draft will be coming back to the team. At least not yet. Zach Kroenke cleared waivers and accepted a spot in the Diamondbacks minor league system. Kanekoa Texeira has made the Mariners bullpen after a terrific spring.
• Also in case you missed it, Chad Moeller has been brought back to the Yankees organization on a minor league deal. He’s essentially the third-string catcher in New York and Jesus Montero’s backup in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
• Because most of the writers have flights to catch tonight, Girardi started his pregame media session with fake quotes about the game, the joke being that we could use those and not talk to him afterward. Girardi made up some stuff about Vazquez’s outing, then said, “There were runners at second and third and I walked Montero.” Of course, that situation never really happened, but at the time it was pretty solid manager-to-media comedy.
• The Red Sox seem to have their lineup set for tomorrow according to our old friend Pete Abe.
• For whatever it’s worth, major league Yankees beat the minor league Yankees 9-6. Robinson Cano’s terrific spring continued with a 2-for-2 day. Jesus Montero and Brad Suttle also had two hits. Colin Curtis doubled, Ivan Nova was knocked around and Shade Heathcott was a lot faster than I expected.