Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sabathia Rehabs Self, Yanks; Mets' Moment Over

Toward the end of last season, CC Sabathia left the Yankees, and checked himself into rehab for alcoholism.

It didn't make a difference as far as the American League Wild Card game went: Masahiro Tanaka was the ace last season, and if he was able to pitch that game, he was going to pitch it, and he did. Whether CC's absence would have made a difference had the Yankees gone on to the AL Division Series and beyond, we'll never know.

Because of a scheduled day off yesterday, and a rainout the day before, the Yankees' most recent game was last Saturday, at Comerica Park, against the Detroit Tigers, who came into the game undefeated at 3-0.

CC made his 1st start for the Yankees since his rehab. After 4 games, split evenly, 2-2, with no Yankee starter having finished 6 innings, and with the gametime temperature being 31 degrees, the coldest in Comerica Park's 16-year history, a lot of people were worried that the Big Fella, known as an eater of innings (among other things), but now within 3 months of his 36th birthday, would also not last long.

But he did. He went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks, plus 3 strikeouts. He pitched to a batter in the 7th before Joe Girardi replaced him with Kirby Yates, who allowed a 4th run. But Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller went the last 2 1/3rd innings, allowing only 1 baserunner.

In contrast, the Yankee bats, which had been as cold as the weather on Friday afternoon, heated up. In the 1st inning, Alex Rodriguez took former Met Mike Pelfrey deep for his 1st home run of the season, the 688th of his career. Didi Gregorius brought home runs in the 2nd with a single and the 4th with a sacrifice fly. Jacoby Ellsbury tripled home 2 runs in the 4th. Carlos Beltran capped the Yankee scoring (of course he did, he wasn't batting with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, down by a run, with a man on base) when he hit a 2-run homer in the 5th, his 394th career dinger.

Yankees 8, Tigers 4. WP: Sabathia (1-0 -- Thank you, Big Man). No save. LP: Pelfrey (0-1). Escaping from Detroit with a split isn't bad at all, especially given the Yankees' record there since the Tigers left Tiger Stadium in the ghetto for Comerica Park downtown.

*

Tonight, the Yankees start a 3-game series in Toronto against those pesky Blue Jays, who, for the 1st time since 1994 (or 1995, if you consider the '94 Division title to have been unawarded), are defending American League Eastern Division Champions. All 3 games have an official starting time of 7:07 PM. Here are the scheduled starting pitchers:

* Tonight: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Aaron Sanchez.

* Tomorrow: Michael Pineda vs. J.A. Happ.

* Thursday: Nathan Eovaldi vs. Marcus Stroman.

Then the Yankees come home, and begin a series against the Seattle Mariners. Friday is April 15, Jackie Robinson Day, when the universal retirement of Jackie's Number 42 is reversed for a day, and every major league player wears his number, so that every person in the ballpark, and every person watching on television, must see Jackie's legacy.

Speaking of Jackie, last night, as part of its American Experience series, PBS aired Part I of the new documentary Jackie Robinson, by Ken Burns, who focused heavily on Jackie during his 1994 miniseries Baseball.

It will air Part II tonight, and will repeat the series on the weekend. DVR it. I insist. It's about more than baseball: It casts some perspective on the state of American politics in the last 60 years, including our current racial debates.

*

as anybody noticed that the Mets are 2-4? They got beat 2 out of 3 at home by the Philadelphia Phillies, "the worst team in baseball," over the weekend. They got shut out on Saturday, and Matt Harvey got beat on Sunday. Then, last night, Steven Matz got clobbered by the Miami Marlins -- again, in Flushing.

Remember Bull Durham? These words should stick in the mind of any Met fan who wants to remind any Yankee Fan about last year's Pennant:

Nuke: Can't you just let me enjoy the moment?
Crash: Moment's over.

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