Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good Signs From Last Night's Win

Associated Press
The Yankees offense exploded last night for 10 runs in a 10-3 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Joe Girardi put all his starters on the field, except Derek Jeter, who was replaced by Eduardo Nunez. Jeter continues to rehab from a calf injury and may be available to return as early as Friday. Nick Swisher left the game in the third inning after re-aggravating his groin pull while running to first base on a single.

But the Yankees continued to roll, and if you're a fanatic like me, you had much to be pleased with besides the runs scored. All-in-all, everyone looked great last night, and there's reason to believe that this team is ready for the start of the season. Here are some of my observations from last night's game:

Associated Press
A-Rod continues Spring assault - Alex Rodriguez was the x-factor in last night's game, going 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs, a walk and a run scored. Alex is swinging the bat exceptionally well, and is moving much better on the basepaths.

Robbie stellar at the plate - Going 0-for-3 is nothing to be proud of, but Robinson Cano still gave fans a reason to believe that when the season starts, he'll be back to doing what he does so well: hit. Robbie connected on 3 of his four at-bats last night and hit the ball extremely well, but with no luck. It happens, but what's important is that Robbie is seeing the ball well and making contact. He also worked a walk last night, refusing to swing on sliders low and away from Pittsburgh's Jo-Jo Reyes. The walk would eventually result in a run scored.

Curtis was simply "Grand" - The more Curtis Granderson plays, the better he gets. It's just that simple. Grandy is having a fantastic Spring, and got right to it last night with a long ground-ruled double in his first at-bat. He followed that with a single, 2 walks, and 3 runs scored.

Pineda rebounds for the "W" - Michael Pineda had a terrible first inning last night, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk; one of the hits being a home run. But he quickly made adjustments to the placement of his fastball and was "lights out" in his next two innings, eventually getting the win. One thing to note: Pineda still has yet to get his fastball to 95 mph.

Associated Press
Mo is Mo - Mariano Rivera got outs so quickly last night, that I can barely remember seeing him at all. One inning, 9 pitches, 7 strikes, one strikeout. Enough said.

Andy wows Martin - At the last minute yesterday, Russell Martin volunteered to catch Andy Pettitte's first bullpen session. According to Martin: "That's as good of a bullpen as I've caught all spring -- from anyone." Sounds like Andy is in better form than any of us probably ever thought. I'm predicting a late April start.

Brett adding to his arsenal - Brett Gardner went 1-for-3 last night on an impressive bunt to right, which moved the first baseman from the bag and allowed him to score. YES Network's Jack Curry reported that Gardy has been working with Dewayne Wise, who apparently is an excellent bunter. Gardy is planning on bunting being a big part of his game this season.

(Russell Martin quote courtesy of Bryan Hoch, beat writer for

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