(Always a welcome sight. Courtesy of Reuters)
The remaining three of the Core Four were all back in action yesterday, so that game clearly merits recap coverage. While trimming their roster and waiting for Robinson Cano to return from the WBC, the Yankees have started playing better baseball lately and now have a nice little four-game winning streak going. The pitching has been very good in the last week, with Andy Pettitte continuing that trend yesterday in his season debut.
- Pettitte wasn't nearly as sharp as he is on his best days, but he was still pretty good for a first start. 3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. He threw about 60 pitches, so definitely room for improvement in the command area, but that should come in the next few weeks.
- Derek Jeter looked good in his first game back at shortstop since last October, even if he only had one ball hit his way. At the plate he was 0-2 with a walk.
- Cody Eppley relieved Andy in the 4th and finally had a good outing, and then it was on to Mo. As he did in his first ST appearance, Mo sat the Phils down in order in the 5th.
- The Yankee starters smacked Cliff Lee around early and often. They tagged him for 2 runs in the 1st, another in the 2nd, and 2 more in the 3rd before Lee hit the showers. Only 2 of the 5 runs were earned, but Lee also gave up 6 hits and 2 BB, so it's not like he was just the victim of bad luck.
- Newest Yankee Ben Francisco contributed in his first game, doubling and driving in 2 runs. With Zoilo Almonte getting sent to MiL camp, Francisco should jump right near the top of the mix for the open outfield spots.
- 2 hits apiece for Juan Rivera and Ichiro, who are both quietly swinging the bat very well this spring. The Yanks need something from both of them, in April especially, so here's hoping they don't use up all their good swings in March.
- Props to Shawn Kelley, who threw another scoreless inning with 2 K. He's another guy quietly getting the job done and impressing the coaching staff.
- Rivera: 2-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 LOB. As well as he's hit, and as much as the Yankees have been working him in at first base, you have to think Rivera is a shoo-in for an Opening Day roster spot.
- David Aardsma: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. Been a bit of a struggle for DA in his early appearances. Hopefully just working the kinks out.
Yanks will travel to get another crack at the Blue Jays today. ST head turner Jose Ramirez gets another start and the Yankee regulars making the trip will get their first look at Josh Johnson.