Bad luck on balls in play was the difference as the split-squad Braves beat the split-squad Yankees at the Boss, 6-2.
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
R - Andruw Jones (LF)
S - Mark Teixeira (1B)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
S - Jorge Posada (DH)
R - Eduardo Nuñez (2B)
R - Austin Romine (C)
R - Justin Maxwell (RF)
L - Austin Krum (CF)
Pitchers (IP): Phil Hughes (4), Rafael Soriano (1), Joba Chamberlain (1), Steve Garrison (1), Eric Wordekemper (1), Luis Ayala (1)
Formidable Opponents: Four innings of Tommy Hanson, one of Craig Kimbrel, and five of the Braves' regulars.
Big Hits: A solo homer by Jorge Posada (1-for-3), and doubles by Andruw Jones (1-for-2, BB) and Eduardo Nuñez (1-for-2), all off Tommy Hanson. Jones was the only Yankee to reach base twice and the Yankees' other run scored on a fielder's choice.
Who Pitched Well: Rafael Soriano pitched a perfect fifth, striking out Martin Prado looking and Brooks Conrad swinging. Eric Wordekemper worked a perfect eighth. Luis Ayala worked a perfect ninth, striking out Brandon Hicks.
Who Didn't: Phil Hughes wasn't terrible, but he gave up a pair of runs on a walk and seven hits (though two were bunt singles and just two went for extra-bases) in just four innings while striking out only two. Jordan Schafer took him deep for a solo homer in the second and the first three batters he faced in the game, Martin Prado, Brooks Conrad, and Chipper Jones, each got a hit to push across the other run. Also problematic was the fact that Hughes' fastball was topping out at 89 miles per hour. The pitch Schafer got up into the jet stream to the back of the right-field bleachers was a cutter, and I didn't see him throw many curves. The positive side of all of that is that he got to work on his changeup and got some good results. Six of Hughes' 12 outs, including all three outs in his only 1-2-3 inning (the third) came on the change, which was sitting around 81-82, a good ten miles per hour slower than his typical fastball. At the end of last season, Jay wrote about how Hughes was finding success with his changeup, so it was good to see him make more use of it on Friday. Steve Garrison wasn't awful either, but despite getting six straight ground balls, he had a disastrous seventh inning that cost the Yankees the game. With what amounted to an A-ball infield behind him (see the Subs above), Garrison was bled by a series of well-placed grounders and some astute baserunning for four runs on five hits (only one of them a clean single to the outfield).
Rotation Battles: That Steve Garrison threw just one inning proves he's not even a longshot contender.
Oopsies: Derek Jeter and Justin Maxwell were both thrown out trying to steal second by Brian McCann. Eduardo Nuñez was charged with interference at first base on a bunt single by Jordan Schafer. Schafer bunted hard up the first base line. Mark Teixeira fielded the ball, both Nuñez and Hughes attempted to cover the bag, but Nuñez got there first and collided with the runner.