Game Thirty-Nine – Cubs 1 Yankees 10
WP – Andy Pettitte (3-0) LP – Rich Harden (0-1) Save – None
Spring Training is over and it is a good thing because the Cubs limped to the finish line. For the last time, wins and losses do not matter in the exhibition season but performance on the field does. Two teams reported to New York for the weekend games, but only one team showed up to play.
Rich Harden followed Ted Lilly’s example and gave up three home runs on Saturday afternoon. Harden was lifted with two outs in the fourth. The Yankees scored eight runs, seven earned, off Harden on seven hits with four walks…two were of the four-pitch variety. Harden struck out a pair and did not exactly light up the radar gun.
In two games at the new Yankee Stadium, Ted Lilly and Rich Harden served up six home runs…only one was a solo shot. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira hit the long balls on Saturday off Harden that accounted for seven of the Yankees 10 runs.
The Cubs played a very sloppy game. Two errors, one by Kosuke Fukudome and the other by Aramis Ramirez, and bad baserunning by Derrek Lee. Alfonso Soriano was responsible for one of the Cubs few highlights, but he turned in one of the lowlights as well. Soriano hit his sixth home run of the spring in the third but he ‘admired’ a long single that hit the wall to start the game off Andy Pettitte. Soriano finished the day 3-for-4.
David Patton pitched his way in and out of trouble in the fifth. After disposing of Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano rather easily, Xavier Nady reached on a 2-out single. Patton then issued back-to-back walks to Cody Ransom and Brent Gardner before retiring Melky Cabrera on a fly out to center.
Angle Guzman retired the Yankees in order in the sixth…his most efficient outing of the spring. Chad Gaudin pitched in what could have been his last game as a Cub. Gaudin sat the Yankees down in order in the seventh.
Luis Vizcaino surrendered the last two Yankee runs. Shelley Duncan hit the Yankees fourth home run of the game in the eighth. John Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera hit back-to-back doubles off Vizcaino for the Yankees’ tenth run of the game. Jeff Samardzija recorded the last two outs of the inning.
Joey Gathright struck out to end the 2009 Spring Training schedule.
The Cubs finished the extremely long Spring Training schedule with an 18-18-2 record after winning only twice in their last 10 games dating back to March 25.
Without his fastball, Harden’s changeups are a lot easier to hit.
Harden retired the Yankees in order on just seven pitches in the first inning, six for strikes. The second inning began with an error by Kosuke Fukudome in center and went downhill from there. Fukudome dropped another ball, this time hit by Hideki Matsui. The ball hit off the heel of Fukudome’s glove and fell to the ground.
Robinson Cano drove in Matsui with a 1-out single to center.
Koyie Hill threw out Cano trying to steal second to end the second inning.
After Alfonso Soriano tied the game in the top of the inning, the Yankees jumped all over Rich Harden in the bottom of the third. Harden threw 35 pitches in the 4-run inning, 17 for strikes.
Cody Ransom walked on four pitches to start the inning. Brent Gardner reached on a throwing error by Aramis Ramirez. Gardner was bunting for a hit and Ramirez threw wide of Derrek Lee at first base. With runners on first and third and no outs, Derek Jeter launched a 3-run homer over the wall in right center.
Mark Teixeira hit his first of two long balls on the afternoon a batter later.
Harden continued to struggle in the third. He walked Matsui following the Teixeira blast, then issued his second four-pitch walk of the inning to Jorge Posada. After Cano lined out to center for the second out, Xavier Nady singled to left. Alfonso Soriano threw a perfect strike to Koyie Hill to cut down Matsui at the plate…inning over.
Cody Ransom started the 3-run fourth inning for the Yankees with a ground rule double to right center that fell between Kosuke Fukudome and Milton Bradley then bounced over the wall. Harden retired Gardner on a lineout to center…a good running catch by Fukudome toward the infield. Harden then struck out Jeter but walked Johnny Damon.
Mark Teixeira looked at three straight out of the zone before launching Harden’s fourth pitch into the second deck in right field…8-1 Yankees.
Carlos Marmol retired Matsui on a ground out to second on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Someone needs to flip the switch because starting Monday every game counts.
The Cubs will spend Sunday in Houston and will workout at Minute Maid Park in preparation for Opening Day. They final two spots on the Cubs roster will be announced by 2:00pm C.T.
Carlos Zambrano will face Roy Oswalt on Monday evening at Houston. A 6:05pm C.T. start time from Minute Maid Park.