The Yankees kicked their 2011 Grapefruit League schedule off this afternoon against the 2011 World Series Champion (too soon?) Phillies, losing 5-4. Rather than author my regular comprehensive and authoritative game recap, given the whole exhibitioness of it all I wanted to share a few bullet point observations:
– Bartolo Colon threw two innings of one-run ball, and looked OK save for a Ben Francisco triple. He started out the game throwing a troubling 89mph fastball, but dialed it all the way up to 94mph in his second inning of work. I still don’t expect much of anything out of Colon, but I’m glad he didn’t get throttled.
– Derek Jeter grounded out to shortstop and third base in his two at-bats. I will refrain from comment.
– Michael Kay noted that Mark Teixeira was the only starter to remain in the game for a third at-bat, and postulated that the Yankees might try to get him more work in the spring than usual as a way to try to counter Tex’s notoriously slow April starts. I have no idea if this’ll work, but I have no problem with Tex getting extra reps if it means a non-horrendous April. For what it’s worth, Tex hit an RBI triple in the 5th (and also reached on the first on a HBP), so it looks the experiment is already a rousing success! (/smallsamplesize’d).
– Alex Rodriguez awesomely scalded the ball in both of his trips to the plate, just missing a home run to center in the 1st, and ripping a double in the third.
– Joba Chamberlain debuted a slight mechanical adjustment — setting his glove closer to his waist than up by his chest right before his delivery — and looked spectacular in his one inning of work. I know it was one inning and only 10 pitches, but he was dialing it up to 94 and looked confident, comfortable and in control. He also spoke with Kim Jones after his outing and acknowledged his penchant for running full counts on batters last season and that his goal for 2011 is to finish guys off once he gets ahead in the count. Sounds like a smart philosophy to me. I can’t wait to watch Joba stymie hitters every five da–oh wait, he’s still in the bullpen. I will once again refrain from comment.
– Both David Phelps and Hector Noesi looked like giants on TV, although apparently they’re each only about 6’3”. Phelps unfortunately didn’t look great, getting hit fairly hard by a couple of scrubby hitters and giving up two runs in his one inning of work. According to our own Sean Potter, “I thought the scouting reports seemed accurate on Phelps — doesn’t have anything that will really baffle hitters so he needs to hit his spots. He left stuff around the plate and got knocked around a bit.” Noesi was better, pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth — although all three of his outs came in the air — and giving up two hits in his second inning of work but still managing to keep the Phils off the board.
– Was hoping to see Jesus Montero today, but Joe Girardi said he’s starting tomorrow. Francisco Cervelli started at catcher, as Russell Martin is still several days away from game action, and somehow drove in the Yankees’ first run with a double.
– Eric Wordekemper was awful in the eighth, loading the bases to hitters that probably won’t even make the Phillies’ 25-man, and then surrendering the lead on a dinky fly to left that Colin Curtis maybe should have caught (although probably not really).