Sometimes, you just get smacked around. That’s what happened to both CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander today. Verlander, upon whom Detroit is depending for a bounceback season, allowed four runs, two earned, in his two innings of work, walking four along the way. None of the hits were for extra bases, though — in fact, the Yankees didn’t have a single XBH the entire game. Girardi pulled Sabathia after 1.2 innings, in which he allowed five earned runs on six hits, a walk, and a Gary Sheffield home run. Worst of all, he didn’t strike out a single Tiger.
After the game, PeteAbe and the beat crew spoke to CC, who said he’s fine. Of course he’s going to say that. What do you expect immediately after the game? “My shoulder was barking the entire time.” Even if it was, CC certainly wouldn’t mention anything right after the game. He’d get it checked out before anyone said anything to the press. Not that I think there’s a problem. Just saying that if there were, the press wouldn’t have found out so soon without CC showing some obvious signals on the mound.
Pete Caldera notes that two of the singles off Sabathia were bloops, a good sign for sure. Also, it appears his slider/cutter wasn’t working. As we learned earlier this month, it takes him a while to find the groove on his cutter. It’s good that he was out there working on it, results be damned. We’ll see how his handle of the pitch progresses in his next start.
Following Sabathia, Aceves allowed two runs in 3.1 innings of work, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out one. The killer were his two home runs, both to Gerald Laird. You can bet Aceves will remember that if the two face off during the season. Brian Bruney pitched a perfect sixth, striking out two. Veras followed with an identical frame, and Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless, one-hit ninth. The zero walks from the last three guys is encouraging, though that can probably be attributed to Detroit’s scrubs filling the lineup. They’re not going to walk their way onto the roster.
As mentioned previously, the Yanks scored four runs on zero extra base hits, and didn’t manage any runs off the Tigers bullpen. Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira each collected a pair of singles and a walk, Posada walked twice, Cody Ransom picked up another base hit (.346 BA so far this spring), and Kevin Cash knocked an RBI single. Nick Swisher left six men on base, about which he quipped:
“Give me some of those burritos. I need to feed that village of people I left on base.”
Not an inspiring day at the plate by any means, but the Yanks still mustered four runs in two innings off Verlander with singles and walks. The only stories of the day, really, were CC’s poor performance and Melky going hitless yet again (though he did walk once). Everything’s turning up Gardner these days.
Update: I’ve just been informed that Team Netherlands is playing on ESPN2 right now, so feel free to use this as a game thread for that. The regularly-scheduled open thread will hit at it’s normal 7 p.m. slot tonight.