Last time out, Chien-Ming Wang wasn’t able to make it out of the second when the BoSox lit him up for six hits and seven runs in 1.2 innings. He worked with pitching coach Dave Eiland to clean up a mechanical issue between starts, and order was restored to the universe. Wang tossed five innings of one run ball against the Astros this afternoon, giving up just three hits while striking out two and inducing ten groundballs against just three in the air. Shortly before the game Houston agreed to use the DH, so the Yanks were off the hook and didn’t have to worry about Wang hurting himself on the basepaths. Again.
Robinson Cano was the late add as DH, so the Yanks had someone personally drive him the 90 minutes to Osceola County Stadium. He responded by going 2-for-4 and is now 4-for-10 since returning from the WBC, so I guess the sore shoulder can’t be that bad. Hava Molina chipped in a pair of hits as well, while Johnny Damon, Cody Ransom, Melky Cabrera and Justin Leone combined to go 0-for-14, though the Melk-man drove in the game tying run in the 6th with a RBI groundout. Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher batted three-fourm in the lineup and each picked up a hit, while Eric Duncan (yes that Eric Duncan) drove in a pair of insurance runs in the ninth. Angel Berroa put the Yanks on top for good with an RBI single in the sixth and went 1-for-3 on the day, dropping his spring line to .421-.436-.711.
Phil Coke, Brett Tomko, Jose Veras and Jon Albaladejo combined to throw four scoreless after the Wanger, allowing just one hit (by Coke) and a pair of walks (both by Veras). You can tell the regular season’s getting closer, because the relievers are starting to see some situational duty rather just “you’re pitching X inning today.” Austin Jackson stole a base and scored a pair of runs after picking up a single and pinch-running for Molina. PJ Pilittere also scored a run after a 1-for-1 effort, so overall it was a good day the for the young guys. The 4-1 loss pushed Houston’s preseason record to an unsightly 1-15-3, and they’ve been outscored 119-52. The Pythag Record for that run differential is … 26-136. No wonder Pedro won’t sign with them.
AJ Burnett will look to continue his torrid spring tomorrow night against his former team (the most recent one), and YES will carry the action.