(Courtesy of the AP)
After pitching in a few MiL games to avoid facing AL East rivals, CC Sabathia was back on the mound against a Major League team last night for his final Spring Training tuneup. Well, he was on the mound against the Houston Astros, and I guess technically they still qualify as a Major League team since they're in the AL West but whatever. While it was CC's final spring game before the start of the regular season, it was Vernon Wells' first spring game as a Yankee, so there's no shortage of juicy talking points from last night. It might actually have been one of the most interesting games the Astros will be involved in all year.
- Sabathia wasn't sharp in the 1st inning, giving up 3 earned runs on 4 hits (3 of them doubles) and a leadoff walk. He wasn't locating his breaking pitches well and the Astro hitters were just professional enough to make him pay.
- The big fella got some help from his offense to make up for the early runs. Brett Gardner went 2-3 with a triple and an RBI, continuing to strengthen his case for the leadoff spot on Opening Day, and Travis Hafner woke up from his spring slumber with a 3-hit day of his own.
- Wells got the start in left field and hit sixth in the batting order. He had a relatively uneventful 0-3 night at the dish, but did drive in a run with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the 6th.
- Final line for CC: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. Not great, but he's way past the point of needing to be great in ST. As long as he's healthy and ready to go Monday, that's all that matters.
- Strong performance behind CC from an almost all-Major League bullpen. Mo, D-Rob, Joba, Logan, and Vidal Nuno combined to throw 5 scoreless innings with 5 K and 1 BB before the teams decided enough was enough after 10.
- Gardner: 2-3, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K. He continues to have a good all-around camp. Got caught stealing for the first time early in the game. It happens.
- Kevin Youkilis: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 LOB. Another run-scoring XBH for Youkilis, who continues to slug the ever-loving shit out of the ball this spring. He might have that cleanup spot in the batting order locked up.
- Ichiro: 0-4, 2 LOB. The only regular with this many ABs who didn't contribute at the plate. Sorry, guy. Somebody has to take the fall.
David Phelps gets another start, his last of the spring, as the Yanks hit the road to take on the Orioles tonight.