Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yankees Pitching has Hopes High

It may only be spring training, but the performance of the Yankees starting rotation certainly has us feeling good about the upcoming regular season. Chien-Ming Wang's five innings of one run ball versus the Astros today, came on the heels of CC Sabathia's 1-hit, 7 strikeout, four inning performance last night against the Pirates.

Today's 4-1 win in Kissammee gave the Yankees five straight victories. (Six in a row if you count the 'B' split squad game on Saturday.) In those five games, the Yankees starting pitching has limited their opponents to just two runs and eight hits in 19 innings. Yankees pitching has also record 16 strikeouts in that span.

Consistency has been the name of the game. Joba Chamberlain had two poor starts to begin the spring, but bounced back in his last two outings. CC Sabathia has had just one bad appearance. The pitchers are keeping the Yankees in all their games, which is doubly important with Alex Rodriguez out of the lineup.

The Yankees worked out a deal with the Astros today to make sure Wang stayed healthy. It was against this very Houston team last June 15 that Wang suffered a season ending Lisfranc injury. The Yankees rallied from a 1-0 deficit with two runs in both the seventh and ninth innings. Angel Berroa drove in his ninth run of the spring and Eric Duncan delivered a pinch-hit 2-run single.

The Yankees rolled over the Pirates 9-2 last night as Mariano Rivera made his spring debut. Mo breezed through the fifth inning, striking out a pair of hitters. Making the night even better was having Mo throwing to Jorge Posada.

To top things off, Hideki Matsui, recovering from knee surgery, looked like he was in mid-season form. Godzilla drove in four runs with a 2-run single and a 2-run home run.

A.J. Burnett will face his former team, the Toronto Blue Jays, tomorrow in a 7:15 PM EDT start.

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