TAMPA, Fla. -- When Joe Girardi announced his starting pitcher for tonight's game against the Phillies as Johnny Wholestaff, he wasn't kidding.
Nine innings, nine pitchers. And nine hits by the Phillies, who won 6-0 at The Boss. Adam Warren was the nominal "starter," and he threw one of just four hitless innings all night, although he did walk two. David Phelps, who along with Warren and Vidal Nuno, found out before the game that he would not be the No. 5 starter, allowed the first run of the game, thanks to two errors on consecutive plays by Kelly Johnson, who had played a mostly flawless third base lately. (Although he did have another two error game earlier in the spring).
And poor Nuno did not help his case to be the second lefty out of the bullpen by allowing back-to-back moonshots in the third by Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd, and narrowly escaped giving up three in a row when Chase Utley sent Ichiro to the wall in right. The fact that Howard and Utley are lefties doesn't help Nuno, either.
Nuno was followed, in succession, by David Robertson, Matt Thornton, Shane Greene, Shawn Kelley, David Herndon and Matt Daley. All held the Phillies off the board except for Greene, who surrendered two sixth inning runs on three hits.
The Yankees also had nine hits, all singles, including a fifth-inning single by Derek Jeter, only his second hit since March 7. On the strength of that hit, Jeter's spring average rose 14 points, to .128. Brett Gardner went 3-for-3. Shades of last season: The Yankees were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Sneak attack: Shawn Kelley nearly caught Ben Revere napping in the seventh when, with the Yankees infield shifted to the right against Jimmy Rollins, batting lefthanded, he took a long lead off third since no one was covering. Kelley alertly decided to make the sprint from the mound to third base to try to tag Revere out but didn't quite make it.
John Ryan's Express: The Yankees optioned catcher John Ryan Murphy to AAA Scranton today, leaving just Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine and Jose Gil as the backup catchers in camp behind Brian McCann. It also raised speculation that maybe Romine would be traded, since the Scranton catching job was expected to be his.
Tomorrow's news: The Yankees travel to Dunedin Wednesday morning for an afternoon game against the Blue Jays. RHP Chris Leroux gets the start. Among the regulars on the travel roster: Jeter, Gardner, Cervelli, Johnson, Alfonso Soriano, Eduardo Nunez, Brian Roberts and Carlos Beltran. Dellin Betances, probably on the verge of making the roster, is scheduled to work in relief. No TV or radio for this one but I will provide live in-game updates via my Twitter feed, @ESPNNYYankees.