Ajax buries Sawx with 8th inning salami


It was yet another tough, grueling match-up between the Yankees and Red Sox, that is until top prospect Austin Jackson stepped in. With two runs already in, Jackson came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out against ex-lobsterfisherman Devern Hansack in the eighth inning. He took the first two pitches for balls, then swung through two low-90′s fastballs to bring the count back to 2-2. He took another pitch for a ball and fouled the sixth pitch of the at-bat off. The seventh pitch was a meatball – belt high fastball – and Jackson crushed it, sending it literally over the left field foul pole for a good ol’ four run homer. Jackson’s reward for the granny? An assignment to minor league camp immediately after the game (along with Juan Miranda and Eduardo Nunez). Regardless, it was one of the more exciting moments of the spring, and hopefully a glimpse into the future.

The rest of the offense was highlighted by Brett Gardner, who came around to score after tripling in the 6th. He went 1-for-2 on the night. Melky Cabrera, Gardner’s competition for the center field job, scored a run after drawing a walk in his lone plate appearance. Ramiro Pena attempted to sacrifice Melk to second, but Manny Delcarmen and Chris Carter ran into each other on the infield grass, allowing Pena to reach safely and Melky to advance to third. Derek Jeter went 1-for-2 in his return to the team, while Johnny Damon and Robbie Cano both went 1-for-3. Angel Berroa ripped an RBI single, continuing his hot spring.

AJ Burnett made his fourth start of the spring, and this one was much more like the first two than the last one. He threw five and two-third innings, allowing one run on three hits and a pair of walks. He struck out four and went beyond his scheduled pitch limit of 75, throwing 49 of 81 pitches for strikes. He definitely tired as he reached his pitch limit and his control struggled, but the velocity was still there – his last fastball was clocked at 93, right where it was all game. Jon Albaladejo came in and retired the only batter he faced to get out of the bases loaded jam left by Burnett.

Mariano Rivera graced everyone with his presence tonight, throwing his third perfect inning in four one-inning outings. He struck out two and induced a ground ball from the other batter. Praise be to Mo. Damaso Marte struggled in the eighth, allowing a hit and walk before being removed because he reached his pitch limit after retiring just two batters. Edwar Ramirez relieved him, and struck out two while allowing one hit to close out the 7-1 win.

One of the biggest bright spots tonight was seeing Jorge Posada throw out Jacoby Ellsbury when he tried to steal second. Jeter got away with a phantom tag, but the throw was right there against an elite base stealer. After throwing out three of four attempted basestealers on Sunday, it’s great to see there were no lingering affects.

The Yankees will enjoy their second and final off-day of Spring Training tomorrow, although Andy Pettitte will throw in a minor league game. The rest of the team returns to action Thursday afternoon, when Joba Chamberlain takes on the World Champion Phillies in a game available on YES.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Drew says:

    I definetly laughed when I read AJAX’s reward for the four run dinger.
    On a serious note, I’m hoping Edwar doesn’t have to be our “lefty” reliever if Marte doesn’t excel here. Marte didn’t show us much last year other than getting Ortiz out in a pinch.

    • Tom Zig says:

      Phil Coke is capable….no?

      • Drew says:

        He is but I’m still hoping that he’ll be further developed as a starter.

        • Tom Zig says:

          IMO, Phil Coke should remain in the bullpen.

          Hughes, Kennedy, and Aceves would all get starts before they trot out Coke.

          • Drew says:

            yes but Coke hasn’t even had 18 innings in AAA.

            • Long term organizational future, though, Coke is behind CC/AJ/Wang + Joba/Hughes/Kennedy + Brackman/Betances/McAllister/Bleich. He’s the 11th best starting pitcher in our org chart, tops (12th if you live Aceves better; I don’t). I doubt he has that much of a chance to really contribute in a starting role, and his ceiling as a starter is pretty limited.

              On the bullpen org chart though, he’s probably behind only Mo/Marte + Bruney/Edwar/Veras + Melancon. And given the volatility and shorter lifespans of relievers, he could easily be one of the top three relief arms we have in a year or so.

    • jsbrendog says:

      Marte didn’t show us much last year other than getting Ortiz out in a pinch.

      except for the fact that other than when girardi torre-ed him that one night because the bullpen was empty and he had no choice marte was probably the best lefty reliever in the al during that stretch. where is your proof that he didnt show you much? cause he showed me lots

      • Drew says:

        Mainly the 11 runs in 18 innings. Or maybe it was the 11 walks in 18 innings. Hmm… I guess I’ll mull it over.

        • Jack says:

          You missed this line:

          other than when girardi torre-ed him that one night because the bullpen was empty and he had no choice

          After that one game he put up a 3.29 ERA, which is pretty damn solid if you ask me.

        • Damaso Marte’s first 9 Yankee appearances:
          7.1 IP, 36 batters faced, 9 hits, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts, 1 HR, 9 runs (all earned), 0 wins, 2 losses, 3 holds, .937 OPS against, 11.05 ERA.

          Damaso Marte’s subsequent 16 Yankee appearances:
          11.0 IP, 44 batters faced, 5 hits, 5 walks, 13 strikeouts, 0 HR, 2 runs (both earned), 1 win, 1 loss, 4 holds, .391 OPS against, 1.64 ERA.

          He may have “shown you nothing” because you wrote him off after his rough first month. But from the end of August through the end of the season, he was money.

  2. Rich says:

    I think Pena’s emergence as a potential (although far from certain) replacement for Jeter is one of the most important developments of ST.

  3. Ben K. says:

    “The Yanks blew it open on Jackson’s granny.” -Michael Kay

    That comment sounded far better in context than it does a few hours later.

  4. J.R. says:

    Coolest play of the game was when Marte threw over the catcher, it hit the screen, the catcher caught it and pickle ensued between third and home.

    It was hilarious.

  5. andrew says:

    The thing is with Posada’s injury is that the recovery doesn’t prevent you from making a throw or two here and there, it’s the wear and tear over a long period of time that can cause the damage. I agree, it’s good to see him out there and throwing, but 4 throws doesn’t define his recovery, it’s his 1000th throw of the year in 6 months that will be more troublesome.

    • Darth Stein says:

      According to, Jorge Posada gave up 102 stolen bases and caught 32 base runners attempting to steal in 138 games. That is a total of 134 total chances to throw out a runner. Now mix in a few snap throws to first and the fact that he probably did not throw on every attempt and it looks to me like he made 120 to 140 throws in game conditions. Now I am not counting practice or warm up throws between innings but from your statement “4 throws doesn’t define a recovery” it appears that you are not considering non-live throws either. Based upon this, I think it would be quite terrifying and definitely troublesome if he makes 1,000 throws under game conditions over the course of the season.

      • andrew says:

        I’m talking about simple stuff like throwing the ball back to the pitcher too though, I’ve had the same injury as Jorge so I know what it’s like… I was just trying to say its the wear and tear that will bring him down with this injury, the 1000′s of the throws he will make over the course of the season, not ten-twenty hard throws during spring training. Look, I’m happy he’s out there, I just don’t want people to get a false impression that these 4 throws mean he’s good to go. And there’s also the chance that I’m wrong, but I’m just going off my experience with the injury and my recovery. For me, the issue wasn’t throwing the ball hard, it was throwing the ball hard in a high volume.

    • Rich says:

      I’m more concerned about him throwing in cold weather, but to this point I have been wrong about the pace of his recovery, and I’d like to continue to be.

  6. John says:

    I wonder if we picked up any second-hand grit from the Sox

    • Darth Stein says:

      The Sox regularly grit all over the field. I am just hoping that the Yanks didn’t step in any.

    • anonymous says:

      I think Jeter got a little flying grit on his glove when it hovered over Ellsbury’s head. Should help his range.

  7. Rob in CT says:

    I was pleased that Posada’s arm functioned. I wouldn’t say the throw was “right there” though. It was off to the right (toward 1B) quite a bit, and Jeter had to do the ‘ole sweep tag & try to get Ellsbury on the helmet. He missed, but he sold it well and the ump bought it.

  8. ChrisS says:

    I love watching Mo pitch. He always seems to be tinkering with his location. He knows he can get a guy to chase a pitch just off the plate, but to me (especially last night) he seemed like he was trying to throw it to a spot 3 inches off the plate. That kind of control is amazing.

    It’s going to be a sad day when he hangs up the spikes.

  9. ChrisS says:

    And while AJ looked good, Wakefield’s knuckler was wicked good. Of all the Red Sox players, I probably like Timmy the most. The guy’s 43, throws the same pitch, takes the same contract every year, and just goes out and pitches. Talk about a low-stress employee.

  10. Bo says:

    Was the grand slam uninspiring?

  11. jsbrendog says:

    what’s worse here, the baby stealing or that jose tabata’s wife is 43…….

  12. Ken says:

    Does any one know if bleacher ticket holders are allowed to have access to the new stadium unlike the old one?

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