(F*ck you, Saltalamacchia. Courtesy of The AP)
It's only Spring Training, there are only three regulars in the Yankee lineup (Gardner, C-Grand, Ibanez), and Adam Warren is the starting pitcher for the Yanks, so obviously this game means less than nothing. But it's being televised on ESPN, which means I have the ability to finally watch some live Yankee baseball this year, and that means it's the perfect opportunity for the first official AB4AR live blog of the season!
Coverage starts at 7PM EST/6PM Central, with first pitch some time right after that. Come hang out, check in, and feel free to add a comment or two. I'm more than capable of entertaining myself with bad jokes and commentary on how bad Ibanez's swing looks, but it's always more fun with more people. If nothing else, we can laugh at what I'm sure will be ridiculously one-sided, Bobby V ball-licking commentary from the announcers together.
Yankee Starting Lineup-
1) Brett Gardner- LF
2) Curtis Granderson- CF
3) Andruw Jones- RF
4) Eric Chavez-3B
5) Raul Ibanez- DH
6) Brandon Laird- 1B
7) Jose Gil- C
8) Ramiro Pena- 2B
9) Doug Bernier- SS
SP) Adam Warren- RHP
Fraud Sawx Starting Lineup-
Who gives a damn?
4:07 PM- Apparently switch pitcher Pat Venditte is available out of the 'pen tonight. It'd be nice to see him get in a game.
6:18 PM- Sorry for the lateness. Computer problems. Doesn't look like I missed anything important and go figure, I turn the TV on in time to see Eric Chavez get a hit. And he didn't hurt himself running to first base!
6:20PM- Terry Francona is the color commentator tonight. Of course he is.
6:22PM- I don't want to start this thing off by ragging on Chavez too bad, but when you get picked off by Aaron Cook without even sliding back into first, and only had an average lead to begin with, that's pretty fucking pathetic.
6:25PM- ESPN's bottom scroll categorizes Pineda as a fantasy bust. I'm sure Andrew Marchand had nothing to do with that.
6:29PM- Good fastball location by Warren on a strikeout of Adrian Gonzalez. Kept it low in the zone through the whole at-bat, got to 2 strikes, then went up the ladder with it for the whiff.
6:30PM- And he takes a comebacker from Big Sloppi off the body for his troubles.
6:37PM- Warren works around the Ortiz IF single and a single by Ryan Sweeney to keep the Sawx off the board. He's a little inconsistent with his offspeed stuff early, but doing a good job keeping the fastball down.
6:43PM- ESPN has the troll factor up to 11 already. They're just now talking about the Yankees for the first time since the start of the last half inning, which was 16 minutes ago, and they showed a video montage of all the strikeouts with runners on base from Game 5 of last year's ALDS. Fucking Jose Valverde.
6:44PM- Quick 1-2-3 for Gil, Pena, and Bernier and the boys in the booth are psyched to get to talk about the Sawx again!
6:50PM- I just became a much bigger Adam Warren fan after he goes fastball in on Pedroyaaahh with 2 strikes and hits him on the right forearm. And to make it even better, the ump ruled Pedroyaaahhhh swung and he's out. Nice.
6:55PM- Leadoff single for Gardner to start the 4th inning. Got ahead 3-1 and smacked a fastball through the right side of the infield. Nice at-bat.
6:58PM- C-Grand with a stand-up triple to the deepest part of the park and it's 1-0 Yankees. He might not have been happy with his swing a few weeks ago, but it looks smooth and sweet right now. Great balance, great rotation, not overswinging. Everybody says he's going to regress, and his HR total might come down a bit, but I wouldn't be shocked if he had another monster year.
7:01PM- He hasn't done much so far, but Andruw Jones does look better physically and he picks up an RBI single to make it 2-0. Then he promptly gets picked off. That's 2 in less than 3 innings for Cook. What the hell is going on here???
7:06PM- Big time Web Gem by Bernier with a sliding stop on a groundball up the middle to get Youkilis by a step at first.
7:08PM- Another 1-2-3 for Warren. Sits down Youkilis, Gonzalez, and Sloppi in order. That'll do, Adam. That'll do.
7:11PM- Holy shit! Joe Girardi's son looks JUST like him. That was borderline creepy seeing them both in uniform next to each other in the dugout.
7:13PM- Double off the wall for Laird, single through the right side for Gil, and the Yanks are in business with nobody out in the 5th.
7:19PM- Bernier getting it done at the plate too with a 2-RBI single. 4-0 Yanks. And I just noticed that former Yankee Ross Ohlendorf is on the hill for Bahhston. Tough luck, bro.
7:23PM- Great stat on Curtis' 2011 season. With the numbers he put up last year, he's one of only 2 players in the history of Major League Baseball to hit 40+ HR, 10+ 3B, and steal 20+ bases in a single season. The other is Willie Mays.
7:27PM- And he goes from 0-2 to force a 2-out walk. Dude is damn near locked in right now.
7:29PM- Joe sounded legitimately excited when they brought up Andy there. Everybody consistent with the "we're excited he's back" message.
7:36PM- Olney reported that the Yankees are "listening" to offers for Hughes. Hmm, I wonder what other teams were offering...
7:41PM- Just got done watching Dellin Betances pitch closely for the first time, and I have to say I was not impressed. His stuff wasn't very electric tonight, at least not compared to what I know he's capable of, and his mechanics? Ummm, WOW! They are downright atrocious. Kid still looks like he needs a helluva lot of work to me. Every pitch was an adventure for him out there, but he managed to get out of the inning unscathed.
7:46PM- I can't put my finger on it, but something about Ibanez's swing just looks wrong. He never makes solid contact.
7:50PM- That's murderer's row of a schedule to open the season for Bahhston- Tigers, Blue Jays, Rays, Rangers, Yankees. Sucks for them.
8:00PM- Not much better for Betances in the bottom of the 6th. He's walked 2 in a row with 2 outs and none of the 4 pitches he threw to Adrian Gonzalez were even close.
8:06PM- Ramiro Pena's swing looks like a powerful swing, and yet the dude just has none. Too bad he's not bigger.
8:12PM- Jesus Fucking Christ!!!! ENOUGH with the Francona shit!!! Call the fucking game!!!!
8:15PM- Third inning of work for Betances is the best one. 1-2-3 with 2 strikeouts.
8:23PM- Another former Yankee, Mark Melancon, plunks Jorge Vazquez on the right wrist with a fastball and that sounded BAD. Vazquez immediately came out of the game and looked to be in a lot of pain. Hopefully nothing is broken there, because that would be a huge shame for him.
8:27PM- Cory Wade on to pitch the bottom of the 8th, so at least this will be worth watching. He's going to be on the hottest of hot seats this summer when Joba and Aardsma are ready to go if he's not pitching well. Hell, even if he is he still might be the odd man out.
8:32PM- Back-to-back doubles from 2 guys who won't make the Bahhston 25-man rawstah is not what you want to see from Wade.
8:34PM- Nor is an RBI single by the next batter.
8:38PM- And now an RBI double off the wall by Lars Anderson. Clay Rapada's chances of making the team for Opening Day keep getting better and better.
8:40PM- Joe's going to the bullpen, which gives me time to talk about Adam Warren tonight. It's easy to see why Warren is valuable because of his ability to throw strikes and locate his fastball down in the zone. It's also easy to see why he doesn't project as anything more than a #4-#5 starter as his offspeed stuff was inconsistent, and while he didn't leave it in bad spots, he also didn't locate it where he wanted to. That lack of command of your secondary pitches can get you into trouble against Major League hitters. That being said, he did throw 4 shutout innings and he deserves some credit for that for doing it against a Fraud Sawx lineup that featured its everyday 1-5 in the order (Ellsbury, Pedroyyah, Youkilis, Gonzalez, Sloppi). If enough guys get hurt that Warren is needed this year, the Yankees should be confident that he can go out there and at least hold his own.
8:44PM- Juan Cedeno Ks a lefty to get out of the 8th inning and preserve the lead. 4-3 Yanks heading into the last inning.
8:50PM- Watching the kids the Yankees have out there right now is making me feel old. Damn.
8:56PM- I'm glad that Joe wanted to get Kontos into the game, but really with the timing? Gotta love Joe playing the bullpen matchup game in the bottom of the 9th of a ST game! Work that binder, Joe!
9:03PM- Screw you and your stupid bunting, Bobby V. "Archer" is on, screw it. Great to finally watch some live baseball this year. Not too much to take from this game, though, other than Adam Warren can get it done and Curtis looks great at the plate. Until next time...