Phil Hughes did what he had to do. He went 5 innings, he made it to his pitch count, his velocity was good and he had command of his pitches in a Yankees 5-2 victory over the Rays.
Hughes’s only mistake was a hanging breaking ball for Matt Joyce which resulted in a 2 run homer. Other than that, Hughes was sharp and has proven that he is a contender for one of the spots in the rotation. Clay Rapada went an inning without giving up a run on 2 K’s, Cesar Cabral (1-0) had an impressive afternoon with 2 innings and 6 K’s & Mike O’Connor had 1 strikeout in one inning pitched without giving up a run.
THE GOOD: Justin Maxwell continues to hit the ball hard, going 1 for 2 with an RBI, Mark Teixeira was on base 2 out of 3 times & Robinson Cano was 1 for 3, Alex Rodriguez was 1 for 2 with a walk & Cole Garner was 1 for 3 with 2 runs scored.
THE BAD: There wasn’t really anything bad about today. Yankees just had a bit of trouble scoring late.
WHAT’S NEXT: Brett Gardner & Curtis Granderson are slated to make the trip to Ft. Meyers to face the Boston Red Sox in a Spring Training rematch. The game will be on ESPN & also on YES Network (choose YES Network if you can). David Phelps will get the start while CC Sabathia pitches in a minor league game.
Sure Michael Pineda gave up 2 runs. What pitcher doesn’t give up 2 runs and makes mistakes. Besides of the 2 runs, Michael Pineda looked sharp as the Yankees defeated the Nationals 8-5 in the first game of a 2 game set. The Yankees were facing their former teammate Chien-Ming Wang who looked sharp until a Russell Martin collison at 1st forced him to leave the game with a left hamstring injury.
Pineda’s line was pretty good. He went 3.2 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 base hits while striking out 4. Clay Rapada is making his case to be the second lefty in the bullpen by going 1.1 innings and giving up only 2 walks. Juan Cedeno went 0.2 innings while giving up 1 run on 1, Brett Marshall went 2.2 innings giving up 2 runs on 2 base hits while striking out 3. Michael O’Connor pitched 0.2 innings giving up 1 hit and Adam Warren ended the Nationals threat by getting out the only batter he faced.
The Good: Bill Hall made his case for a spot on the 25 man roster today, having 2 base hits and driving in 2 runs.Russell Martin also had a base hit for the Yankees. He came out of the Chien-Ming Wang collision unscathed so that was also good news.
The Bad: Brett Gardner had a very tough game, striking out all three times he was at the plate. I know this is Spring Training, but his performance is beginning to worry me (along with Robinson Cano‘s who didn’t play today.)
WHAT’S NEXT: The Nationals will travel down to Tampa and face the Yankees on their turf this time. CC Sabathia is slated to start for the Yankees.
Fresh from their predictable win against the University of South Florida, the starting outfield, Raul Ibanez & Russell Martin made the trip to Clearwater where they were going to get a taste of Major League action from Cole Hamels & the Philadelphia Phillies.
After Raul Ibanez’s bloop double that scored Curtis Granderson in the top of the 1st, Hunter Pence of the Phillies quickly made the score 2-1 with a towering HR to right field (thanks to the wind).
Granderson answered back in the third inning with an opposite field HR to left off of Dave Bush which gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead. After scoring 1 run in the 6th, 3 in the 7th (a 2 run shot by Cole Garner) & 2 in the 9th, the Yankees looked set and stone to secure the win, but the Phillies attempted to bounce back in the ninth all starting with a Juan Pierre single. Although he gave up 3 runs in the inning, Michael O’Connor was able to regroup and got Cesar Hernandez swinging for the final out of the ball game.
One thing that made the Yankees look a little sloppy on the field today was errors. Eduardo Nunez had an E-6, Ivan Nova had an E-1 & Jayson Nix had an E-3, all in the first inning.
Ivan Nova pitched 2 innings giving up 1 earned run, David Phelps pitched 2 innings giving up no runs, Manny Banuelos (1-0, 0.00 ERA) pitched 2 innings, gave up no runs and secured the win, Dellin Betances pitched 1 inning with 2 walks, Cesar Cabral pitched 1 inning giving up no runs and Michael O’Connor pitched 1 innings giving up 3 runs.
WHAT’S NEXT: The starting infield and Andruw Jones will take on the Phillies tomorrow as the Phillies make the trip to George M. Steinbrenner Field. Freddy Garcia is slated to start tomorrow.
(Photos Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports)