Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Team USA 'Hacks' up Yankees

Eric Hacker may have many great moments as a professional baseball player, but today wasn't one of them. With the Yankees trailing 2-1, Hacker fell victim to bad control, bad fielding, and some bad breaks in a 4-run Team USA inning. It propelled the WBC competitor to a 6-5 victory at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida earlier today.

Hacker gave up an infield single to Derek Jeter that set the wheels in motion. An error by Angel Berroa, two walks, two wild pitches, and a 2-run single by Kevin Youkilis highlighted the scoring.

The Yankees scored a run in the first off of the Astros' Roy Oswalt and added three runs against the White Sox' Matt Thornton in the sixth inning. Marlins' hard throwing reliever Matt Lindstrom picked up the save after allowing the Yankees final run in the ninth.

Though it was a loss, there were some definite positives for the Yankees, starting with the starting pitcher, Phil Hughes. The Yankees young right-hander threw two solid innings before he appeared to tire in the third. That's when he allowed a 2-run single to none other than Jeter to give Team USA the lead for good, 2-1.

Hughes threw 41 pitches, 25 for strikes, with two strikeouts and no walks. Phil Coke relieved Hughes with two outs in the third and threw 2.1 scoreless innings.

Brett Gardner continues to do a great job this spring in the battle for center field. The speedster went 3-3 and is hitting .615 (8-13) this spring. He's got 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 3 steals, and 17 total bases in 5 games.

Melky Cabrera replaced Gardner during the game and went for 1-2. The Melkman is hitting .333 (4-12), but has no extra base hits this spring.
Nick Swisher drove in a pair of runs, and Cody Ransom, Doug Bernier, and Jorge Posada drove in one each. Posada went 2-3 and is 7-11 (.636) this spring.

Box Score

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An amusing moment happened when Derek Jeter made a nice play on a ball up the middle, did his patented 360 degree turn and threw a one hopper to Kevin Youkilis at first base. Youkilis couldn't handle the throw, prompting a chorus of boos from the home town Yankees fans. The play was scored a hit, which softened the blow.

YES announcer Michael Kay, for a change, tried to make something out of nothing today. This time it was trying to make a big deal out of the fact that Jeter played all nine innings in today's game. Kay said to his broadcast partner, John Flaherty, that Joe Girardi may be upset or concerned about Jeter being in the whole game. Flaherty agreed, saying that the infields tend to get rock hard late in the games during spring training. Kay failed to mention that Dustin Pedroia, David Wright, Curtis Granderson, and Ryan Braun played all nine innings as well.

Considering the WBC starts this Saturday for Team USA, don't you think they might want the players able to last for more than half a game?

photo courtesy of mlb.com


  1. I'll take Jeter out after 6 innings and bring in J-Ro.

  2. You are right about Michael Kay. He's really a piece of work. I know Jeter plays hard, but in baseball 5 innings is not much different than 9 innings.