Joe Girardi traveled to watch Ivan Nova pitch in this split-squad road game, but there wasn't a lot to like about what he saw from any of his charges.
L - Curtis Granderson (CF)
R - Ramiro Pena (SS)
S - Nick Swisher (RF)
L - Eric Chavez (1B)
R - Jesus Montero (C)
R - Ronnie Belliard (2B)
R - Jorge Vazquez (3B)
R - Brandon Laird (DH)
R - Jordan Parraz (LF)
Pitchers (IP): Ivan Nova (3), David Phelps (1), Romulo Sanchez (1 1/3), Andy Sisco (2/3), Ryan Pope (1), D.J. Mitchell (1)
Subs: Eric Murton (1B), Kevin Russo (2B), Doug Bernier (SS), Luis Nuñez (3B), Jose Gil (C), Daniel Brewer (RF), Melky Mesa (CF), Kyle Higashioka (DH)
Formidable Opponents: Most of the Jays' likely regulars, four innings of Kyle Drabek, and one of Jon Rauch.
Big Hits: A solo homer by Curtis Granderson (1-for-3, SB) off Kyle Drabek, Granderson's third tater of the spring. RBI singles by Nick Swisher (1-for-3) and Luis Nuñez (1-for-1), the latter a Double-A shorstop on loan from minor league camp. No Yankee reached base twice, and Granderson's homer was their only extra-base hit.
Who Pitched Well: Really just D.J. Mitchell, who pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out Ryan Goins.
Who Didn't: David Phelps struck out two men in one official inning, but he actually faced ten batters, gave up a triple, a home run, four other hits, two walks, uncorked a wild pitch, failed to get an out in his second frame before being hooked, and was charged with four runs. Oh, and the only other out he got came when Jose Bautista ran into an out at home plate to end Phelps' ugly fourth inning. Romulo Sanchez allowed one of Phelps' runners to score in the fifth, then was charged with a couple himself in the sixth, one of which scored on his watch, another of which scored after he was hooked on before getting the hook himself. He also uncorked two wild pitches and one of his four outs came on a pickoff by his catcher. Andy Sisco replaced Sanchez walked his first batter to load the bases, gave up a sac fly to let one of Sanchez's runners score, then issued another walk to load the bases before getting the third out of the inning. Ryan Pope gave up two runs on three singles and a hit-by-pitch in the seventh. Compared to that lot, Ivan Nova's day didn't look that bad. He gave up two runs on five hits, including an Edwin Encarnacion double, and a pair of walks while striking out just one, but the first run scored on a sac fly following a Ramiro Peña error that put a runner on third base, and the second scored on a Jose Bautista solo homer. Hard to knock him too hard for that on a day that he just didn't have command of his fastball.
Rotation Battles: David Phelps has been awful this spring. He's no longer in the mix. D.J. Mitchell apparently never was. Ivan Nova's outing was the worst yet by any of the four primary contenders (also Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and Sergio Mitre), which combined with his remaining options is a clear set-back, though he still has plenty of time to catch back up.
Oopsies: Ramiro Peña made a wild flip to second after snagging a ball up the middle, that allowed the runner on first to reach third where he scored the Jays' first run on a subsequent sac fly. An error by Jorge Vazquez at third base led to a run in the sixth. Also two wild pitches by Romulo Sanchez, one by David Phelps, and a hit batsman by Ryan Pope.
Other: Scott Podsednik stole second base on the combination of Nova and Jesus Montero, but Montero later picked Edwin Encarnacion off third base. Then again, Montero was also behind the plate for another cluster of wild pitches and went 0-for-3 to drop his spring average to .136 (3-for-22 without an extra-base hit or a walk). The backup catching job is Montero's to lose, but I imagine he will have to hit a little to avoid losing it.
Next: The Yankees and A.J. Burnett face the Nationals in at Space Coast Stadium in Viera. The MLB Network will air the game on tape delay at 7pm.