A few times this afternoon, Michael Kay referred to Team USA as consisting of “the best players” in America. I’m not sure if that’s the line being fed announcers in order to generate some excitement over the World Baseball Classic or if it’s truly Michael Kay’s interpretation of the team. Either way, it’s hardly accurate.
That team, led by Derek Jeter, was just good enough to eke out a one-run win over the Yanks. However, considering the Yanks’ pitching today, I either don’t have high hopes for Team USA in the upcoming tournament or do like what the pen in the Bronx could do this year.
The day started out as we predicted last night: Derek Jeter grounded into a double play against Phil Hughes in the top of the first. The Yanks’ young righthander meanwhile rolled through two innings. He struck out David Wright and Adam Dunn in the second before tiring in the first.
An inning later, Jeter, of course, would be the one who delivered the the hit that would send Phil Hughes to his pitch-count induced shower. Down 2-1 at that point, the Yanks would never regain the lead as they lost 6-5.
Hughes looked good today through 41 pitches. He clearly tired a bit in the third, but he K’d two in 2.2 innings. Of all things, he ran into some trouble on inside pitches. The Yanks’ pitchers are working on establishing the inside half of the plate this spring, and Hughes hit Curtis Granderson and Ryan Braun both on 0-1 inside fastballs.
So that was it for Hughes. Eric Hacker was terrible, and Angel Berroa’s lack of range and inability to field didn’t help much in a four-run sixth for team USA. But Phil Coke, Dave Robertson and Jose Veras combined for 6 K’s in 4.2 innings.
Offensively, Brett Gardner ho-hummed his way to another 3-for-3 day while Melky went 1 for 2. Jorge added a pair of hits in three ABs, and Nick Swisher picked up a hit and two RBIs.
Ian Kennedy and the Yanks will face the Braves on the road. tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. in an non-televised game.
Anyway, here’s your open thread for the night. The Devils and Nets are in action tonight, and you could catch the tail end of the Jays-Team Canada game on MLB Network. Oh, and the Rangers reacquired Sean Avery, eating up whatever last bit of salary cap wiggle room they had. Oh joy.
Talk about whatever you want; just be nice; and if you haven’t voted in this week’s Fan Confidence Poll, do it.