The Yankees wrapped their exhibition schedule with a nice win over the team that they're going to open the season against on Thursday (an odd scheduling quirk) with, in an equally odd quirk, Bartolo Colon, who threw the first pitch of the spring for the Yankees, throwing the last.
L - Brett Gardner (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
S - Mark Teixeira (1B)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
S - Nick Swisher (RF)
S - Jorge Posada (DH)
R - Andruw Jones (LF)
R - Russell Martin (C)
Pitchers (IP): Freddy Garcia (4 2/3), Luis Ayala (2/3), Steve Garrison (2/3), Mark Prior (1), Eric Wordekemper (2/3), Rafael Soriano (1/3), Bartolo Colon (1)
Subs: Eric Chavez (1B), Eduardo Nuñez (SS-2B), Ramiro Peña (SS), Doug Bernier (3B), Austin Romine (C), Justin Maxwell (RF), Melky Mesa (CF), Ray Kruml (LF)
Formidable Opponents: The Tigers' starting lineup against right-handed pitching and 5 1/3 innings of Rick Porcello.
Big Hits: Austin Romine broke a 1-1 tie by leading off the eighth with a solo home run off Ramon Garcia. That was Romine's only at-bat. Andruw Jones doubled off non-roster lefty Fu-Te Ni. The first Yankee run scored on singles by Russell Martin (1-for-2) and Brett Gardner (1-for-3) and walks to Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez (both 0-for-2). No Yankee reached base twice in the game.
Who Pitched Well: Eric Wordekemper, Rafael Soriano, and Bartolo Colon, the last getting his first work coming out of the bullpen this spring, combined for two perfect innings to wrap things up. Mark Prior worked around a single in the seventh, striking out Miguel Cabrera to end the frame. Freddy Garcia limited the Tigers to one run on a solo home run by lefty Brennan Boesch, a trio of singles, and a pair of walks over 4 2/3 innings while striking out three.
Who Pitched Slightly Less Well: Lefty Steve Garrison faced four batters, two of whom, both lefties, singled. Luis Ayala faced three men, giving up a double to Magglio Ordoñez before retiring the next two.
Final Roster Decisions: Curtis Granderson looks likely to start on Opening Day, and at the very least should avoid the disabled list. Righty Luis Ayala will be the pitcher filling in for LOOGY Pedro Feliciano on the Opening Day roster. Ayala put up some fantastic numbers this spring (0.79 ERA, nine walks against no walks or homers in 11 1/3 innings), but typically pitched the ninth inning of games against minor league and non-roster subs. Ayala hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009 and posted a 5.68 ERA with a 1.50 WHIP and a weak 6.1 K/9 in 115 2/3 major league innings in 2008 and 2009 combined. Brian Cashman is still keeping his ears open for a last-minute upgrade on Ayala or backup catcher Gustavo Molina, but for now, the Yankees Opening Day roster is set.
Ouchies: Joe Girardi said Pedro Feliciano will miss "at least three weeks," while Francisco Cervelli, who just got his boot off, could be back by May 1. Granderson took more than a game's worth of simulated at-bats on Tuesday and reported no discomfort in his strained oblique. He's playing in a minor league game today as a final test.
Other: With regard to the leadoff question, Joe Girardi said that Derek Jeter will leadoff against left-handed starters, but has yet to commit to Brett Gardner as the leadoff man against righties, though that seems to be how things will fall. Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, and Boone Logan pitched in a simulated game on Tuesday as a tune-up for Opening Day.
Next: Opening Day! CC Sabathia vs. Justin Verlander, Thursday at 1:05 in the Bronx (weather permitting). YES (locally) and ESPN (out of market) will have the game. Mike Mussina will throw out the first pitch.