Thursday, June 6, 2013

CC Sabathia Is a Complete Beast

A sweep of a Playoff contender, such as this year's Cleveland Indians, doesn't erase memories of a stretch where we got swept 4 straight by The Other Team and lost 2 out of 3 to The Scum, all at home.  But it helps.

CC Sabathia started for the Yankees against his former team, and was great for 5 innings, getting the benefit of the Yankees jumping out to a 6-0 lead after just 2.

With 1 out in the 1st, Robinson Cano reached 2nd on a fielding error.  After another out, Travis Hafner, another ex-Indian hit one out, his 10th home run of the season.

Lyle Overbay led off the 2nd by beating out an infield single.  After an out, Jayson Nix, who lately hasn't been able to hit the ground if he fell off a ladder, doubled down the right-field line, although Overbay wasn't able to score.  Chris Stewart, apparently fully rehydrated, singled Overbay home and got Nix to 3rd.  And then Brett Gardner, who seems to do everything well except hit for power, did so.  It was only June 5, yet he's already got 6 homers this season.

6-0 Yankees.  I remember mixing my sports metaphors, thinking, "Come on, Yankees, kick the extra point."

They didn't get that 7th run. And that became a problem, as CC allowed 2 runs in the 6th and 2 runs in the 7th.

At which point, Joe Girardi's Binder must've been screaming, "Hey! Joe! Look at me! Let me tell you what to do in this situation! You have to bring in Boone Logan! If not him, then Joba Chamberlain! If not him, then Shawn Kelley! If not him, then Adam Warren!"

(Yeah, the Binder seems to love Logan as much as I cringe when seeing him pitch.)

Joe didn't listen.  This time, he went with his gut, and thought, "I'm actually a pretty old-school kind of a guy. I'm gonna let the Big Fella finish this game. I'm not going to baby my pitcher. I'm going to treat him like a man."

Good idea.  Even in the 9th inning, CC was hitting the corners, throwing hard fastballs and hellacious breaking stuff.  He threw 116 pitches, 84 of them for strikes.  Although he allowed 7 hits for 4 runs, 6 of those hits and all of the runs came in the 6th and the 7th.  He only walked 1 batter the whole game, and struck out 9.  Knowing he still had a 2-run lead to work with, CC dug down and showed why he's the ace of the New York Yankees.

Here's his 9th inning: To Carlos Santana (not the guitar player), fastball 92 for a called strike, sinker 91 for a called strike, slider 83 for a grounder to 3rd, 1 out; to Mike Aviles, sinker 90 for a ball, fastball 92 for a foul ball, slider 81 for a foul ball, fastball 92 for a ball, fastball 93 for a called 3rd strike; to Michael Brantley, slider 82 for a called strike, sinker 91 for a swing and a miss, slider 81 for a foul ball, slider 81 for a ball, slider 82 for a ball, fastball 92 for a grounder to 2nd.

That's the 9th inning, having pitched the whole game: 14 pitches, only 4 of them called balls, and no baserunners, not even anyone getting the ball out of the infield.  Mariano Rivera briefly warmed up as a precaution, but CC finished the complete game.  Like a complete beast.

Yankees 6, Indians 4.  WP: Sabathia (6-4).  No save.  LP: Corey Kluber (3-4).

Thank you, CC.  Anybody who says you're starting to lose it can shut up now.

And thank you, Joe, for letting him do his job: Pitching like an ace for 9 innings.  Like a boss.  Like a beast.  A complete beast.

And thank you, Pronk and Gardy for the home runs.

And thank you, entire Yankee team, for sweeping the Tribe.  And closing to within a game and a half, just 1 in the loss column, behind Boston.  (Baltimore is 2 1/2 back, 2 in the AILC; Tampa Bay is 3 and 2 back.)

On to the Pacific Coast.  4 in Seattle, starting tonight; 3 in Oakland; 3 in Anaheim.  Late nights on TV, radio & Internet for us.

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