Written By: Mike Ulatoski

Today is the beginning of another journey, that will hopefully lead all the way into November.  Yankees baseball is back, and they picked up right where they left off with a walk-off win. Walk-offs were a recurring trend for the Yankees in 2009, and by the looks of today there will be a lot more in 2010.

Alex Rodriguez went 1 for 2, No. 98 Colin Curtis hit a game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Yankees beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-3 Wednesday with “The Big Stein” George Steinbrenner in attendance for their spring opener.

Batting Order
SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
1B Mark Teixeira
3B Alex Rodriguez
DH Marcus Thames
RF Jamie Hoffmann
LF Brett Gardner
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Ramiro Pena

Of the top-four in the order, A-Rod was the only one to produce a hit, and together they went a combined 1-for-8. Through the first 4 innings the Yankees order could do nothing against the Pirates’ pitchers, who did a good job keeping the ball down in the zone which resulted in a lot of ground balls. A-Rod’s hit in the fifth was the Yankees’ first of the game. Former Yankee pitcher Steven Jackson gave up three runs in the sixth, including a solo shot from Ramiro Pena and an RBI double from Nick Johnson. The Pirates tied the game up with Jon Albaladejo on the mound in the seventh. Albaladejo’s line looks like this: 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, ERA – -, 0.0 IP. Ouch. The Yankees got two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, and Colin Curtis’ longball gave the Yanks a 6-3, walk-off win.

Chad Gaudin – fighting for the fifth starter spot with Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Sergio Mitre, and Alfredo Aceves – got the start today. He gave up a leadoff single in the first and threw away the pickoff attempt. After that, though, Gaudin settled down, retiring the next six batters he would face. His fastball topped out at around 91-92 MPH, and threw a good amount of first-pitch strikes. He finished with 34 pitches, 23 for strikes. Mitre relieved Gaudin in the third, and he pitched a perfect two innings of work. He did a good job of keeping balls down in the zone. Aceves pitched the next two innings, throwing another two perfect frames and pitching in midseason form.

The Yankees resume their Spring Training schedule against Philadelphia on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. C.C. Sabathia will make the start for the Yankees, in a game that will mark the Phillies debut of newly acquired right-hander Roy Halladay. New York will also pitch Kei Igawa and Boone Logan, among others, while Philadelphia plans to have Kyle Kendrick and Jose Contreras see time on the mound.

Worth Noting:

The Yankees wore the pinstripes today, as is custom for the first Spring Training game. Plenty of Yankee greats were in attendance today, and they were brought out onto the field before the start of the game. Yogi, Bernie Williams, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage, Ron Guidry, and Tino Martinez were a few of the several legends in attendance. Jamie Hoffmann made a nice running catch to rob Ryan Church of an extra-base hit, crashing into the right-field wall. One batter later, Brett Gardner made a tumbling catch on the left-field warning track on a Lastings Milledge drive. All fans in attendance received a CC Sabathia mini-bobblehead doll.

How excited are Yankee fans for the season?