The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Spring Training Game 17: Yankees at Nationals03.12.11

YANKEES (6-8-2)
Brett Gardner CF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Russell Martin C
Robinson Cano 2B
Jesus Montero DH
Jorge Vazquez 1B
Ramiro Pena 3B
Justin Maxwell LF
Melky Mesa CF

RHP A.J. Burnett (0-0, 0.00)
Burnett vs. Nationals

NATIONALS (8-5)
Roger Bernadina CF
Ian Desmond SS
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Michael Morse LF
Wilson Ramos C
Rick Ankiel DH
Lance Nix RF
Danny Espinosa 2B

LHP John Lannan (1-0, 6.00)
Lannan vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., not on television

WEATHER: Little bit of wind blowing out to left-center. Beautiful blue sky overhead. A really great day for baseball.

UMPIRES: HP Ed Hickox, 1B Paul Nauert, 3B Fran Burke (only three umps listed, but I’m guessing there’s a third)

ON THE LINE: A.J. Burnett is trying to keep making strides forward. It’s also a chance for Eduardo Nunez to further establish himself as the best utility player in camp, and for Jesus Montero to finally get his bat going.

OUT OF THE BULLPEN FOR THE YANKEES: RHP Hector Noesi, RHP D.J. Mitchell, RHP Adam Warren and RHP Luis Ayala. Andrew Brackman , Robert Fish, Ryan Pope and Daniel Turpen also made the trip, but they’re not listed as scheduled relievers.

BULLPEN FOR THE NATIONALS: RHP Yunesky Maya, RHP Collin Balester, LHP Atahualpa Severino and LHP Sean Burnett

TRAVEL SQUAD: Without an open clubhouse this morning, I don’t have the position by position plans, but here are the guys who made the trip: C Jose Gil, C Kyle Higashioka, C Gustavo Molina, C Austin Romine, INF Doug Bernier, INF Brandon Laird, INF Kevin Russo, INF Bradley Suttle, OF Daniel Brewer, OF Austin Krum and OF Jordan Parraz

NOT WORTH THE RISK: Eric Chavez was scheduled to make this trip, but Joe Girardi called that his mistake. He ultimately decided it wasn’t worth having Chavez make the long bus ride. Chavez is healthy, the Yankees just didn’t want to put a guy with a history of back problems on a bus across the state.

OLD FRIENDS: Saw Tyler Clippard during batting practice. He pitched at the minor league complex today, and he’s more or less assured a spot in the big league bullpen. He’s throwing a little harder now and has added a cutter. Said he’s a much more mature pitcher than when he made his big league debut with the Yankees at age 22. He’s another good guy I’ve been happy to see find success at the major league level.

BURNETT FOR FOUR: Burnett is scheduled to go four innings or 60 pitches.

OK FOR KEI: Kei Igawa is heading home in the wake of the devastation in Japan. Brian Cashman said all of Igawa’s immediate family is OK. Great news.

UPDATE, 1:07 p.m.: Gardner tried to check his swing, wound up making contact and hit the weakest line drive ever to third base.

UPDATE, 1:14 p.m.: Walk by Nunez and RBI single by Cano. The Yankees are up 1-0 with runners still on base and two outs in the first.

UPDATE, 1:16 p.m.: RBI single by Vazquez and it’s 2-0 after one inning.

UPDATE, 1:17 p.m.: The Yankees just announced that Igawa is leaving for Japan later today.

UPDATE, 1:25 p.m.: Burnett off to a strong start. He just struck out the side in the first inning.

UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.: Single and a two-run homer off A.J. — the wind has shifted to blow out to right, which might have helped the homer — and ti’s now 2-2 after two innings.

UPDATE, 1:56 p.m.: After the home run, Burnett has now retired six in a row. It’s still 2-2 after three innings.

UPDATE, 2:03 p.m.: Two-run homer by Jorge Vazquez has the Yankees back in front, 4-2. That’s his third home run of the spring. If Eric Chavez weren’t playing so well, I’d say Vazquez has a real shot at making the roster. Instead, he’s simply making a strong impression on the coaching staff, which could put him in line for a call-up.

UPDATE, 2:27 p.m.: Solo homer of Hector Noesi has pulled the Nationals within 4-3 after five innings. Burnett did not allow another base runner after that home run. He retired nine straight.

UPDATE, 3:04 p.m.: Burnett said he found his curveball today. He was encouraged by his outing — the curveball especially — and said it felt good to bounce right back after giving up the home run. Last year, a lot of outings spiraled out of control. This spring he’s been good at moving on and limiting the damage.

Also, the Yankees are now leading 5-4 in the seventh. I was downstairs and will have to check Gameday to find out how it happened.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 230 Comments →

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