Only in Spring Training
and game five of the World Series do teams tie. When two teams reach that ninth inning with no end in sight and no more pitchers ready, the managers generally call off the exhibition. Today, in Kissimmee, that is exactly what happened between the Astros and Yanks.
In March, the scores don’t matter. It’s all about getting a tune up, getting in swings, getting in pitches. For the 2009 Yankees, then, today’s tie was a big day. Chien-Ming Wang made his return to the mound after his freak Lisfranc injury last summer. While his sinker was up a bit — normal for this time of year, he said after the game — he held the Astros to two hits and no runs over two innings.
Offensively, the Yanks plated five runs but in unspectacular fashion. Angel Berroa, playing with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez joining their respective WBC teams, homered and doubled; Melky Cabrera tripled in his bid to keep a job; and Jorge Posada went 1 for 3 as the DH, returning to play after a few days off due to shoulder soreness.
Beyond that, a bunch of guys who won’t make the team — George Kontos and Steven Jackson — blew the game in the 8th. Brett Tomko pitched two good enough innings, and two hours and 46 minutes after the first pitch, it was all tied up with nowhere to go.
Tomorrow, Phil Hughes will face Team USA in a game televised on YES, the MLB Network and I believe for free on MLB.tv. That should be a good one.