The Yanks lost their game with the Phillies in Clearwater today, 3-2. Andy Pettitte pitched the first five innings, allowing only two hits and netting four Ks, and leaving with a 1-0 lead. Then Can't Pitch Carl Pavano took over. The Phils tied it in the sixth, the Yanks took the lead back in the top of the seventh, and then the Phils broke it open in the bottom of the frame, scoring twice to get the lead.
Can't Play Carl actually didn't look that bad. His fastball topped out at 89 MPH, but had good movement. His breaking ball had good action, but wasn't terribly sharp. Pavano was victimized by some bad defense, including some gawdawful work by Andy Phillips at the hot corner.
Although the box score linked above doesn't show it, Pavano actually pitched 3 1/3 innings yesterday. The plan was to get Pettitte five innings of work, and Pavano four innings, so as to keep both men on pace to start the season in the rotation. To make sure Pavano got his work in, Joe Torre made an unusual request of the Phillies--that if they were ahead in the game after the top of the ninth, they should send their batters up against Pavano in the bottom of the inning, even though the game was over.
So when Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless ninth to end the exhibition game, the Phils came out on to the field to congratulate each other, the crowd let out a big cheer over having bested the infamous Yankees...and then the Phils players remembered the arrangement and hustled off the field so that Pavano could take the mound again. Pavano then registered an out before hitting a batter and allowing a fly ball which Kevin Thompson dropped in the outfield. By then Torre and Ron Guidry had seen enough of Can't Play Carl, and indicated to Phils manager Charlie Manuel that the game was over...again.
I don't mean to get all Paul Lukas on you, but he Spring Training caps the teams have been given this year are outright stupid. In their continuing quest to diddle with the unis just enough that people who already have plenty of their favorite team's gear will buy some more, the manufacturer (New Era?) added a stripe over where the ears would go on the cap for Spring Training. That's it--not a new color, new logo, new design, just a dumbol' stripe. This is like the weird pixelated dots that Nike added to the sleeves of baseball undershirts. These stupid embellishments have no functional purpose, no aesthetic purpose, only a marketing purpose. "Sure, you have a cap, but you don't have a cap with a white swoosh over your ear, do ya?"
Here's hoping that what's worn in Spring Training stays in Spring Training.