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It Was a Busy Night for Starting Pitchers the Yankees Considered This Winter

Last night, down in Philadelphia, the Yankees' off-season Plan A, Cliff Lee, helped out the team he spurned by throwing a complete-game two hitter — his third straight shutout — in a 5–0 Phillies win over the Red Sox. Meanwhile, in the Bronx, the Yankees pounded Zack Greinke, whom the Yankees considered after Lee returned to Philadelphia. (The Yankees held talks with Kansas City about acquiring the righty, but he'd eventually land in Milwaukee.) Greinke lasted just two innings last night, allowing seven runs on five hits, three walks, and a hit by pitch, and the Yankees would cruise from there, adding some insurance runs later on in the 12–2 victory. (Last night was a good one for local-team blowouts.) And as for the two pitchers the Yankees actually did sign to address their pitching concerns: One of them, Freddy Garcia, earned the win last night and lowered his ERA to 3.28. Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon — who started the season in the bullpen but would become a key contributor to the rotation — is inching closer to returning from the disabled list: He threw a simulated game on Monday, and the Yankees hope he'll be able to start against the Mets on Saturday at Citi Field.

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Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images