It was nice to get a hair of revenge against Detroit for last year's LDS. In the 9th, with Felix Heredia (he's still in baseball?) focusing more on Brett Gardner at second-base, he hung a 2-out slider in Bronson Sarndinha's eyes, which he belted over the RF wall. Game over. Yanks win 6-5. Does Sardinha have a chance to be the 5th outfielder? I expect Kevin Thompson and Sardinha to battle each other for the right to be the first OFer called up from AAA. KT is more versatile, offering great speed and defense, while Sardinha offers a better bat and a strong arm.
The Yanks hit Verlander well, hammering him for 3 runs in 2 innings. It started with a 2-run liner over the RF wall by Matsui, followed by an RBI groundout by Cano. Speaking of Cano, he swung at some bad pitches today, striking out twice on FBs at shoulder level. Arod looked good - he singled twice - until he came up with 2 outs and 2 runners on; predictably, he struck out looking.
- Despite Igawa's shaking outing, I thought he looked quite good. His control was off (although he was squeezed on several close calls), and he walked in a run, but his stuff was impressive. He gave up a hit and 3 walks in the first inning yet struck out the side. Very peculiar and, as Kenny Singleton kept saying, it was 'feast or famine.' His fastball was sneaky, ranging from 88-92, while his changeup was excellent (when he controlled it), keeping hitters well off balance. I couldn't tell how many sliders or curves he threw (it was at least one) because the speed and movement looked very similar to his change. Whatever the pitches were, they ranged from 78-82, and moved in to righties (the curve/slider seemed to drop a bit more than the change).
- Mo looked like Mo (utterly dominant), with his normal low 90s cutter and pinpoint control. He worked one perfect inning with two Ks.
- Steven Jackson, a AA pitcher acquired in the Randy Johnson deal, looked good too despite giving up 3 runs. He walked 2 and allowed 5 hits (2 of the seeing-eye type), but showed good command and good movement on his sinker and splitter.
- But the best outing outside of the established pitchers was from Ty "The Yankee" Clippard. From reading his scouting reports, you'd think he had a Jamie Moyer type fastball (85 MPH), but it was quite a bit faster, ranging from 88-92 with great command. His curve was dropping, as was his change. He looked to have 3 plus pitches with plus command. He went two perfect innings with a K. If this analogy makes sense, he's a rich man's Jeff Karstens.
- Proctor also looked great, going one perfect inning with a K.
The Yanks are 5-0 in the Spring. Save some wins for the season guys!