Friday, March 15, 2013
CC Sabathia made his much anticipated Spring Training debut against the Florida Marlins Friday afternoon in Tampa. After he allowed a pair of 1st inning runs, the Yankees' ace blanked Florida for the remainder of his five inning outing. (The Yankees scored a pair of runs in the 7th and 8th innings for a 7-3 win.)
Win or lose the Yankees need Sabathia to be healthy this season. After two stints on the DL last year and off-season surgery to clean up his pitching elbow, the Yankees brought Sabathia along slowly. After he was limited to simulated games and bullpen sessions, Sabathia scattered eight hits, walked one batter, and struck out two.
Outside of a four pitch walk to Kevin Kouzmanoff, the Marlins came out swinging against Sabathia in the 1st inning. Juan Pierre started things off with a single, moved to second on an errant pick off by Sabathia and moved to third on Donovan Solano's single to right.
Former Yankee Austin Kearns hit into a running-scoring 5-4-3 double play that was started by Ronnier Mustelier. The Cuban native later had to leave the game when he banged up his knee on a dugout railing. The initial diagnosis was a bruised knee, but the Yankees will send the 27-year old for further tests.
Rob Brantly's RBI single made it a 2-0 game before Sabathia got Matt Downs to fly out. An inning later Sabathia retired Adeiny Hechavarria, acquired in the off-season blockbuster deal between the Marlins and Blue Jays, but gave up back to back singles to Nick Green and Gorkys Hernandez. (On a bunt.) Sabathia got Pierre on a ground out and Solano to line out to escape further trouble.
Kouzmanoff started the third with a single, but Kearns hit into another twin killing when he lined out to Derek Jeter and Kouzmanoff got caught too far off of first base. Sabathia picked up his first strike out on Brantly to end the frame. Sabathia gave up a pair of back to back two out his in the 4th, but got Pierre on a fly out to Ichiro in right to maneuver his way out of another jam.
Sabathia's final inning of work was his first 1-2-3 inning. He retired Solano, Kouzmanoff, and Kearns in order and left with a 3-2 lead (Florida tied things up against Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson in the 6th inning.)
Bats waking up
There were some good signs at the plate in the game, namely Travis Hafner and Francisco Cervelli both hitting their first home runs of the exhibition season. Youngsters Jose Pirela (RBI triple) and Thomas Neal (RBI double) added some insurance runs in the 8th inning.
Vidal Nuno continued to an impress with a scoreless 9th inning. The left-hander allowed one hit and struck out one and could make the 25-man roster if either Boone Logan and/or Clay Rapada are not healthy in time. In his four appearances Nuno has struck out 12 batters in 8.1 innings pitched.
Former Yankees stand out Tino Martinez is in his first year as the Marlins hitting coach and got a chance to visit with pals Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada before the game. It was old home week as Paul O'Neill was in the YES broadcast booth.
Remember the Maine
Former Met John Maine started for the Marlins and was charged with three earned runs in three innings pitched.