The Yankees played two split squad games today. They played the Minnesota Twins at home in Tampa and not too far away in Clearwater they took on the Philadelphia Phillies. They won the home game by the score of 6-4 and the away game 5-3. Here are the notes from today, it was a busy Friday around the Yankees with the two games and the news of the Joba Chamberlain injury. Here are some notes from Chad Jennings at the Journal News and Lohud Yankees blog and of course my own opinions also mixed in.
At his best, Ivan Nova was unhitable today, and that’s what he and the
Yankees seemed to take out of this outing.
“The command that I had — my fastball, my curveball, slider, especially the
changeup today — was unbelievable,” Nova said. “Every time, here in spring
training, when you’re trying to work on something, and you have a good day like
today – everything was working – you’ve got to take it. You’ve got to be
positive on that.”
Nova retired the first 12 batters he faced, then he closed his outing with a
1-2-3 seventh inning. He needed just 76 pitches, 58 strikes, to get through
seven. In the middle, there was a two-run home run in the fifth inning and a
two-run single in the sixth, but the Yankees came away yet again impressed by an
outing that was better than the final pitching line might suggest. Nova’s had a
couple of those this spring.
“Seven innings, five of them were really, really excellent,” Joe Girardi
said. “He had the two that he struggled a little bit, but I was happy with what
Not too far away in Clearwater, Hiroki Kuroda also
finished with a pretty good game. He went 5.2 innings allowing one run on six
hits. Kuroda got all the way up to 89 pitches in only his fourth start. Nova was
making his fifth start and said he expects to start two more before breaking
The Yankees starters have performed well since Andy Pettitte signed, but
Nova said that’s more about time than timing. “I think right now, everybody is
in better shape than two weeks ago,” he said. “You’re going to see a lot of good
results. Everybody is going to pitch good because everybody is feeling better.
Everybody has more command, and I know for sure that pitches are working better
than two weeks ago. For me, I expect the guys to pitch well too. I know it’s a
competition, but you need not one man, I need my teammates to pitch good and
have a good spring.” I also think it is because of the quality of pitching they have.
Derek Jeter went 1-for-2 in his return to the lineup. He had a first-inning
single and grounded into a double play in the third inning. “I said, ‘You were
actually pretty smart today,’” Joe Girardi said. “He didn’t try to kill himself
running to first, which was smart.” Jeter doesn't always do that because he basically only knows how to play at one speed which is hard all the time.
Girardi said there were no other injury updates. He said after the game
that he still had not heard any results from MRI and CT scan on Joba
Chamberlain’s dislocated ankle. The more you hear on the injury the worse it gets, I really don't have anything else to say about it.
Jeter on Chamberlain’s injury: “You feel extremely bad for him. He’s worked
hard to get his arm back in shape. It seemed as though he was ahead of schedule
on that, and that’s because he worked extremely hard at it. Then to have
something like this, a fluke accident, you feel extremely bad for him.”
Mariano Rivera pitched another hitless inning and has yet to allow a hit in
five outings this spring. Rafael Soriano also pitched a scoreless inning out of
the bullpen today. Soriano has been really good this spring also, could he be the closer next year if Rivera decides to hang it up after this season. He has done the job before and done really well but he could opt out after this year.
New father David Phelps pitched in relief of Kuroda in Clearwater and 3.1
innings allowing two runs on three hits and a walk.
Eduardo Nunez had three hits agianst the Twins today,
and Robinson Cano had three hits against the Phillies. … Francisco Cervelli had
two hits to raise his average to .214. … Ramiro Pena was 1-for-1 with a solo
homer today. … Russell Martin, Brett Gardner, Eric Chavez, Brandon Laird, Chris
Dickersona and Dewayne Wise had one hit appiece. … Mason Williams also singled
today. He’s 2-for-2 in his pair of appearances in big league camp.
Doug Bernier had another two-hit game in another start at shortstop. It’s
still hard to imagine him making this team, but he’s really had a terrific
spring. His batting average is up to .385. They just don't have a spot for him but he could be one of those guys that has made a good impression and they will look at him if the need arises.
Speaking of good springs with no obvious roster spot: Justin Maxwell was
2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. His average is up to .444 this spring.
Despite Bobby Valentine’s criticism, Girardi offered no apologies for not
going into extra innings yesterday. “I’m going to worry about our guys,” Girardi
said. Apparently much of Valentine’s criticism was based on the fact he had a
pitcher — Clayton Mortensen — who he wanted to get in the game. Girardi said he
would have been fine with playing just the top of the 10th if Valentine had
asked. “That would have been acceptable to me,” Girardi said. “But there was no
communication, and usually there is. And it’s not like this is something new.
There’s a lot of tied ballgames in spring training that end in the ninth
inning.” It is only spring training, there promises to be a lot more of this as the season goes on, it should be a very exciting season.
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