Rude Tie! A-Rod Injured, Offense Naps After Jeter Leadoff Homer

You are coming on a little strong there, ma'am.

Today started off great for the Yankees. Brett Gardner threw out the fleet-footed Austin Jackson at the plate to end the top of the first and Derek Jeter hit a leadoff homer against Tigers starter Duane Below in the bottom of the first. Unfortunately, that was the end of the day for the offense, as they were shut out for the rest of the game on only four hits. Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Eduardo Nunez each doubled, but were stranded on the bases. The day got worse when Alex Rodriguez, who was having a great Spring Training, was drilled in the ribs by Tigers reliever Brayan Villarreal. A-Rod was in pain and had to leave the game, but the good news is that he should be fine and will play on Tuesday (Nick Swisher should also be coming back from his groin injury then as well). The game ended in a 1-1 tie after 10 innings. Bobby V would be furious.

The pitching was fantastic for the Yankees, as the Tigers offense could only muster one run in ten innings, courtesy of a walk and a triple in the third inning (they were playing without Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera, but it was still a nice performance on the mound). Michael Pineda threw five innings and struck out four, hitting as high as 94 on the radar gun. He apparently was in the low-90s early on, but I still think this velocity issue is much ado about nothing. Is it so bad that he clearly knows how to pitch without high velocity, too? I will not be pleased at all if Pineda starts the season in the minors just because of that.

Mariano Rivera had another scoreless inning, but he did strangely allow a Delmon Young double and a wild pitch. Young didn't score, but it was still odd. Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Manny Delcarmen, and Clay Rapada followed Mo with scoreless innings of their own, though both Robertson and Delcarmen were aided by bad Tigers baserunning that allowed the outfield to turn double plays ending the eighth and the ninth innings. Rapada induced a groundout from the only lefty he faced, Quinton Berry (who made two awesome catches in the outfield during the game).

One last note: Tigers reliever Collin Barester tried valiantly to help the Yankees score in his two and a third innings. Here was his outing: single-double-walk-groundout to end the fourth, walk-caught stealing-groundout-walk-walk-groundout in the fifth, and flyout-groundout-strikeout in the sixth (his only good inning). He lowered his Spring ERA to 0.87. ERA forever.

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