The first half of a day-night split-squad set was all Yankees as they knocked Roy Oswalt out of the game an out shy of his intended three innings and set the first 17 Phillies down in order on the way to a 7-1 win.
Note: For split-squad games, the Yankees will bring in minor league campers to flesh out the replacement nine. Where those players appear below, I've linked to their Baseball-Reference.com page.
L - Brett Gardner (LF)
R - Russell Martin (C)
S - Nick Swisher (RF)
L - Curtis Granderson (CF)
S - Jorge Posada (DH)
L - Eric Chavez (1B)
R - Jorge Vazquez (3B)
R - Eduardo Nuñez (SS)
S - Ramiro Peña (2B)
Pitchers (IP): A.J. Burnett (3), Joba Chamberlain (1), Pedro Feliciano (1), Hector Noesi (2), Mark Prior (1), Luis Ayala (1)
Formidable Opponents: Five of the Phillies' eight regulars and Roy Oswalt for nearly three innings.
Big Hits: Eduardo Nuñez (1-for-3) opened the scoring by parking a 94 mile per hour Roy Oswalt fastball over the left-field fence for a three-run home run with two outs in the second. The next inning, Curtis Granderson (2-for-2, with a walk, three runs scored, and a nifty running catch near the warning track in the first inning) golfed a 97 mph Oswalt heater into the right-field bleachers for a two-run, two-out tater. That was the last pitch Oswalt threw in the game. Jorge Posada (2-for-3) followed Granderson's homer with a double that one-hopped over the wall in the opposite-field gap off Vance Worley. Eric Chavez had three singles in as many trips, scored one run, drove in another, and was robbed of another RBI by a Jorge Posada baserunning gaffe. Brett Gardner (1-for-3), singled, walked, stole a base and scored a run, you know, like he does.
Who Pitched Well: The Phillies didn't have a baserunner until there were two outs in the sixth as A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, and Pedro Feliciano were all perfect. Burnett worked three innings facing the minimum nine batters. Five of them ground out, and Ryan Howard struck out on a shoulder-high fastball. Burnett got a little assist from a ranging Curtis Granderson catch in the first, a running basket catch near the warning track in right center, and a similarly rangy stop by Ramiro Peña who vacuumed up a ball hit by lefty Ross Gload on the outfield grass behind where the first baseman usually plays. Chamberlain got a pair of groundouts and benefited from a circus catch by Nick Swisher, who made a controlled tumble over the waist-high chain link fence in foul territory down the right field line, much in the style of the Brooklyn Cyclone's Ike Davis bobblehead, to snag the second out. Feliciano retired his three batters on a groundout and a pair of strikeouts, getting Ryan Howard fishing at a curve diving down and away and righty Ben Francisco swinging through a 75 mile per hour changeup. Mark Prior worked around a two-out double by Pete Orr in the eighth. Though he did give up a couple of loud fly outs, he also painted the outside corner on Triple-A outfielder Matt Miller and again sat around 91 miles per hour on the radar gun. Luis Ayala worked around a two-out single in the ninth, striking out Delwyn Young to end the game.
Who Didn't: Hector Noesi wasn't awful, but considering the other five Yankee hurlers in this game combined to allow just two baserunners in seven innings, the run on three hits he allowed in his two frames looked worse than it was. That one run came on a two-out solo home run by Wilson Valdez on a hanging breaking ball that came in at 79 miles per hour and went out a lot faster. Other than that, Noesi stranded both a subsequent single by Shane Victorino and a leadoff double by Jimmy Rollins in the seventh, though the latter required a ranging running catch by Jordan Parraz in deep right field. Still, one mistake pitch and two other hits, no walks, and one strikeout (John Mayberry Jr. on a much sharper, and slightly slower, breaking pitch) in two innings is hardly an embarrassment and on any other day likely wouldn't have even made this category.
Rotation Battle: Depends on how the Yankees react to Noesi's outing, but he was sharp in his first two, so I think he'll continue to hang right behind the leaders (Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, and Bartolo Colon).
Ouchies: There has been official word yet on Colin Curtis's shoulder, but it sounds like the injury, suffered on a diving catch on Sunday, just might have ended his Spring Training, and if not certainly ended any small hope he had of making the team. Andrew Brackman (groin) will see his first game action on Tuesday.
Oopsies: Jorge Posada missed third base on his way home from second on what should have been a RBI single by Eric Chavez with two outs in the third. Posada's foot landed just in front of the bag and he was called out on appeal, ending the inning.
Next: The second half of today's split-squad action is already in progress with Sergio Mitre leading the Yankees against the Orioles and top pitching prospect Zach Britton in Sarasota. I'll be back with a review of that later tonight.