Spring Training Game 12: Yankees at Braves • 03.08.11
Brett Gardner LF
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Jorge Posada DH
Jesus Montero C
Jorge Vazquez 1B
Eduardo Nunez 2B
Brandon Laird 3B
Ramiro Pena SS
RHP Freddy Garcia (0-0, 0.00)
Garcia vs. Braves
Martin Prado LF
Jordan Schafer CF
Chipper Jones DH
Dan Uggla 2B
Eric Hinske 1B
Alex Gonzalez SS
David Ross C
Matt Young RF
Shawn Bowman 3B
RHP Jair Jurrjens (0-0, 3.60)
Jurrjens vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., YES Network
WEATHER: Almost too sunny, if that’s possible. I’m literally wearing sunglasses in the press box.
UMPIRES: HP Jeff Nelson, 1B Joe West, 2B Laz Diaz, 3B Paul Nauert
ON THE LINE: All of the back-of-the-rotation candidates have pitched well this spring, and Garcia will try to keep pace in his second spring start… Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena are both in the lineup, both still vying for that utility infielder job… Andrew Brackman will make his spring debut.
OUT OF THE BULLPEN FOR THE YANKEES: Dellin Betances, David Robertson, Andrew Brackman, Robert Fish and Warner Madrigal are scheduled to throw. Not positive, but I assume Brackman will pitch only one inning.
BULLPEN FOR THE BRAVES: RHP Scott Linebrink, LHP George Sherrill, RHP Peter Moylan, RHP Scott Proctor and RHP Craig Kimbrel. Former Yankees minor leaguer Arodys Vizcaino is pitching tomorrow for the Braves.
OLD FRIEND: Eric Hinske has the start at first base for the Braves. That means highly touted young first baseman Freddie Freeman is out of the Atlanta lineup. Freeman is tied for the Grapefruit League lead with 11 hits this spring.
LOOK AHEAD: The Yankees are home tomorrow against the Pirates. They’re back on the road Thursday to face the Phillies. The pitching matchup is a good one: CC Sabathia vs. Roy Halladay.
WATCH OUT FOR K LONG: Before tomorrow night’s game, the Yankees beat writers will play a second annual paintball game with members of the Yankees coaching staff and front office. I’ve already asked Billy Eppler to please not shoot me in the back of the head this time. Especially if we’re on the same team again!
UPDATE, 1:10 p.m.: Down in the count 1-2, Gardner worked a leadoff walk. Now the fans are booing because Jurrjens keeps throwing over to first.
UPDATE, 1:12 p.m.: Looked like Gardner slipped a little, but he just stole second. A good throw might have gotten him, but the throw was offline.
UPDATE, 1:13 p.m.: Swisher walked, and Gardner was out at third on a double steal. I actually thought he was safe, but I’m also sitting about a mile above the field and there’s no replay in the press box.
UPDATE, 2:06 p.m.: Garcia’s day is done after three perfect innings. All of the rotation candidates have been terrific this spring. Looks like you’d still have to peg Garcia and Nova as the favorites.
UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: Betances allowed a run on three hits, with the run scoring on a double play ball up the middle. Martin Prado’s leadoff double was the different in the inning. The Yankees now lead it 4-1.
UPDATE, 2:21 p.m.: Maybe Posada’s not getting a full game of at-bats after all. Kyle Higashioka is in at DH and Melky Mesa is in to pinch run for Curtis Granderson. Looks like the changes are starting here in the fifth inning.
UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: Went down stairs to talk Freddy Garcia and got back to the press box in time for Andrew Brackman’s scoreless inning. He allowed a lead-off single, but looked sharp the rest of the way, including one strikeout.
Meanwhile, Garcia says his arm feels better this year than it did last season. He’s stronger and his velocity is up. “Feel pretty good, man,” Garcia said. “So far, so good. That’s the way I have to pitch if I’m going to win the spot.”