Monday, February 28, 2011

Game 2. Yankees Club Phillies.

It was a post card day in Clearwater, Florida as the Phillies played host to the Yankees. I know I mentioned just about everyone in the opener but I will not be doing that for the rest of spring. From here on out I will only be talking about what sticks out as glaring to me.

Ivan Nova wants to be in the starting rotation. He took a step forward in proving that he should be. Nova turned in 2 no-hit innings of baseball. His command was excellent all except for one pitch that almost took off the head of a batter. I mention the buzz inside because after that pitch, Nova came back with a 96 MPH fastball. I was impressed with all of his pitches, they seemed to be all working for him.

Sergio Mitre turned in a solid performance as well. He was not as untouchable as Nova but still commanded his pitches well and used multiple pitches as put-aways.

Later on, it was the Brooklyn native taking the mound. Dellin Betances is more than likely going to start the season with AA, but he is definitely making sure the Yankees look to bring him to the big leagues this season. He had not only a no-hit inning but he struck out the side. He walked one batter but made the base runner meaningless by strinking out his last batter. His command is good and he mixes his pitches in well.

Jesus Montero looked great at the plate. He hit the ball hard in multiple at bats including an RBI single passed the diving third baseman. But the big surprise was how great he loomed behind the plate. We had solid performances by Nova, Mitre, Logan and Betances. A lot of the credit has to go to Montero for knowing the hitters and calling a great game. He looks comfortable behind the plate and I don't think he is ready to just let Russell Martin take the job.

Jorge Vasquez is turning some heads in only the second game. That's because in as many appearances he has homered. Yesterday was his second home run of the young spring. Last season he was second on the AAA team in home runs, second only to Montero. This season, Vasquez wants to make sure he gets a call up at some point to see what he can do at the Major League level.

Jorge Posada and Bret Gardner also had great days. Each showed patience at the plate. Gardner walked twice and Posada walked once. Both also had solid hits as they doubled in the 6th inning.

Nick Swisher also had a double in the 6th but the two prior at bats, he looked caught off gaurd and very off balance. In his 6th inning at bat he looked level and balanced but maybe he is just not seeing the ball great just yet. It's something to keep an eye on.

The next game is against the Tigers at 1:00 on Monday afternoon. Lineup is as follows.

Yanks lineup: Jeter SS, Cano 2B, Teixeira 1B, ARod 3B, Jones RF, Martin DH, Cervelli C, Maxwell LF, Mesa CF, Sabathia P
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