In their first night game of the exhibition season, the Yanks sent their shiny new $161M toy to the mound to get their first real look at him in action. CC Sabathia was CC Sabathia last night, albeit for only two innings instead of his usual eight or nine. Sabathia allowed two hits – one a bloop double that Shelley Duncan probably should have caught, the other a single through the hole – but surrendered an unearned run thanks to yet another Angel Berroa misplay. He struck out two and induced five groundballs, throwing 20 of his 26 pitches for strikes. It basically went as well as anyone could have hoped for, and he’ll look to improve upon tonight’s effort when he faces these same Tigers next Wednesday.
Al Aceves pitched very well in relief of CC, giving up just one hit and one walk in 2.2 innings of work, a considerable improvement over his last outing. Steven Jackson gave up a pair of runs in an inning-plus of work, while Jose Veras, Anthony Claggett and David Robertson combined to strike out six in three shut out innings to end the game. Aceves and Jackson each hit ex-Yank Gary Sheffield with a pitch. I’m sure Sheff was livid.
The offensive load was pretty well spread out, with six different players contributing an RBI in the 7-3 win. Handsome Cody Ransom doubled, as did Johnny Damon and a trio of backstops – Jorge Posada, Jose Molina and Jesus Montero. Austin Jackson chipped in a garbage time single while Nick Swisher drew yet another walk (that’s five walks in six preseason games for Swish). Ramiro Pena, manning short while Jeter’s away at the WBC, went two for two and swiped a bag, perhaps making a case for a bench spot now that A-Rod might be out for a while.
The Bombers have a quick turn around with the Atlanta Braves coming in to Steinbrenner Field for a matinee this afternoon. Chien-Ming Wang will be making his second start of the spring, and the game will be shown live on YES. See you at the game thread later.