The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays last night, in the opener of a 4-game series at the White Elephant. That's the important thing.
That a triple play was turned, and that Yangervis Solarte hit his first major league home run, are nice bonuses, but hardly necessary.
It doesn't matter how the game is won, as long as it is -- within the rules of the game, of course. After all, we don't want to be so desperate for victory that we'll cheat like that lot up I-95.
The joke is that CC Sabathia pitches better when he's fat than when he seems to have lost weight. Well, he must've eaten some Cuban-style sandwiches down in Tampa, because he was pitching like the CC of 2007-09. He went 7 innings, allowed 2 runs, only 1 earned, on 7 hits and 2 walks, with 6 strikeouts.
Let the Big Dog eat!
And the Yankees broke out the lumber. In addition to Solarte opening his account (as they would say if he were a soccer player scoring his first goal for the club), Alfonso Soriano hit his 4th home run of the season, and Brian McCann, an injury concern going in, hit his 3rd.
Sadly, John Sterling muffed the call. Instead of saying, "Yangervis provides service!" Or "He's Solar-te powered!" he went with "Never nervous, Yangervis!"
"Never Nervous" was a nickname bestowed upon basketball center Pervis Ellison, the freshman who led the University of Louisville to the National Championship in 1986. But injuries plagued his pro career, and Danny Ainge nicknamed him "Out of Service Pervis." (The native of Savannah, Georgia is now 47, and coaches basketball in South Jersey.)
Then, Sterling made it even worse. Perhaps not knowing that Domenico Modugno's 1958 worldwide smash "Volare" has been appropriated for songs about soccer players, he sang, "Solarte, whoa-oh! Solarte, whoa-oh-oh-oh!"
Johnny Sterling, he's a dork!
Worst broadcaster in New York!
Da-dah, da-dah! Da-dah, da-dah!
At any rate, the most talked-about play of the evening came in the bottom of the 2nd. Evan Longoria led off with a double to center. Then Wil Myers worked CC for a walk. So, 1st and 2nd, nobody out. The Yankees were leading 4-0, but CC has already had a couple of starts blighted by onebadinningitis, and there was concern that this might be another. One bad inning can ruin your whole day.
The batter was Sean Rodriguez. He hit a line shot to Solarte, who ran over to tag 3rd base for a force play. One out. Solarte threw to Brian Roberts, who stepped on 2nd for another force. Two out. Roberts then threw to Scott Sizemore, covering 1st. Three out. Triple play.
The final was Yankees 10, Rays 2. WP: Sabathia (2-2). No SV, although Dellin Betances pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief of CC. LP: Rays ace David Price (2-1).
Oh yeah, the Rays got over 28,000 fans last night. I'm guessing the 20,000 were rooting for the Yankees, and the 8,000 were rooting for the Rays.
The series continues tonight, with Hiroki Kuroda pitching against former Baltimore ace Erik Bedard. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM.
7:10? Which means the game will end around quarter after 10? No wonder nobody goes to Rays' games: For all those retirees, it's past their bedtime!