Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A little Mo and a lot of O at Steinbrenner Field

(photo by John Lembo)

- It's not every day you see a crowd rise to its feet in the fourth inning of a Grapefruit League game. But it's not every day said crowd gets to see Mariano Rivera, the Yankees' other-wordly closer who threw a perfect inning against the Pirates. Rivera's spring training appearances are few and far between (being the best at what you do gives you the right to set your own schedule), and Rivera has declined to say whether this year is his last. So the crowd at George M. Steinbrenner Field took advantage of the the Rivera sighting and gave him quite the sendoff as he made his way back to the dugout. It was cool to see.

- Andrew McCutchen is good. He sent a 3-2 slider from the Yankees' Michael Pineda into orbit for a two-run home run in the first inning. McCutchen now has two home runs and nine RBIs in 10 games this spring, looking every bit the franchise guy the Pirates hope they have.

- JoJo Reyes continues to struggle. The non-roster invitee entered Tuesday with a 9.00 ERA in seven innings this spring and had a miserable outing tonight, when he allowed three runs on two hits and issued two walks after relieving Erik Bedard in the fourth inning. Reyes didn't record an out and ran his ERA to 12.86.

- Consider this AL East Rivalry Week for the Pirates: They host the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday following tonight's game against the Yankees and welcome the Tampa Bay Rays back to Bradenton on Thursday.

- The Pirates trail the Yankees 9-2 in the fifth inning. Alex Rodriguez has two hits and three RBIs for the Yankees.

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