Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Derek, Andy, and Mo and All's Right With the World

Jeter starts to turn two against Philly
The last time Derek Jeter stood out at shortstop during a baseball game my heart dropped into my stomach. Jeter was laying on the ground in terrible pain and was not getting up. Derek Jeter ALWAYS gets up - the one exception being when he got his shoulder destroyed against the Blue Jays in 2003.

Indeed, Jeter did need help getting up after breaking his already injured left ankle in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. Ankle surgery and physical rehab followed. The culmination of recovery was his return to the game, first as a DH and then as the starting shortstop Wednesday evening against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Making Jeter feel even more at home was the Yankees starter pitcher, Andy Pettitte, who made his spring training debut. Pettitte had thrown simulated games up until that point. Pettitte pitched into the fourth inning and left with two men aboard. His line ended up at 3 IP 4 H 1 ER 3 BB 3 K and he felt good afterward.

Mariano Rivera topped the night off with a one inning, scoreless appearance. As is the case in spring training that inning came in the middle of the game, the 5th inning in this case. (Earlier today Mo, gave a nice interview to Michael Kay and Don LaGreca on ESPN Radio. You can hear it by clicking here.) Mo made easy work of it and retired the side in order.

In one of his at-bats, Jeter took a pitch inside for a strike as he leaned over the plate and made a bit of a face at the home plate. Yes, in some ways he's back in form already. He finished 0-2 for the game with a walk.

The Yankees took advantage of five Phillies errors to beat Cliff Lee 6-2. New acquisition Ben Francisco put the Yankees on the board with a 2-run double off the base of the center field wall.  Juan Rivera and Ichiro Suzuki had a couple of hits each and Rivera also made a nice stop at first base.

Melky Mesa continued to impress both at the plate and in the field. He drove in a run and also made a beautiful over the shoulder catch on a drive to center field.

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