Sunday, September 20, 2009

CC Deals, Teix Rakes, Yanks Win

The night after the Yankees' third largest offseason acquisition seemed to right the ship, the two most expensive and important pieces added over the winter continued pay dividends, combining to shut down the Mariners and beat them up.

CC Sabathia picked up where A.J. Burnett left off, dominating the M's, allowing six baserunners on 4 hits and two walks while striking out 8. He gave up only one (unearned) run in the fifth inning when the Yankees were leading 6-0, but that was the least of their concerns at the time.

With two outs, CC threw a 1-1 curveball to Franklin Gutierrez, who lined it directly back up the middle. With no time to react, Sabathia tried to block it, but the ball hit him directly in the top of his chest, missing his throat, collarbone and pitching hand by a couple of inches each. The ball deflected to A-Rod at third base who didn't have a play, and the whole infield rushed in to see if their stud pitcher was okay. CC was momentarily stunned but after catching his breath and stayed in the game. Not too many guys could shake that one off. As Joe Girardi said after the game, “He’s a strong man, he took it and he kept on pitching.”

The next batter was Jose Lopez and Sabathia got him to chop to thrid, but A-Rod made a throwing error which took a huge hop, got past Mark Teixiera and rolled around behind first base in no man's land, allowing Gutierrez to score from first. It didn't faze Sabathia, as he retired the final seven batters he faced. The bullpen, despite allowing 4 baserunners in the final 2 innings, didn't allow a run.

It was Sabathia's 9th quality start in a row, but saying that alone sells him short. He's thrown under 7 innings just one of those times and allowed two or more runs only twice. His ERA over that span is 1.79, his record 7-0 and the Yankees have won all 9 of those starts, dating back to August 8th.

Mark Teixeira was the driving force behind the Yanks' offensive effort last night. He notched his third triple in five games, knocking in Johnny Damon in the first inning. He added a three run homer in the 5th, all but ending Doug Fister's night. He singled in the 7th and came to the plate in the ninth in search of the Yankees second cycle of the year in the 9th. Teix blasted one into the gap in left-center but hit it too well, blasting his 37th HR of the season and adding his 118th RBI.

That dinger was off of lefthander Luke French, making it the third time this year that Teix has left the yard as both a righty and lefty in the same game. The Yankees have done that six times in 2009 while all other teams in baseball combined have done it once.

Hideki Matsui also homered and is hitting .439/.511/.659 over his last 12 games, homering thrice and driving in 12.

The Red Sox won and the Angels lost, putting the Yanks up 6.0 and 6.5 games up on those two teams, respectively, with 13 left to play. The Yanks magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to 2 and to win the division and thereby homefield advantage is 9. Today's game will be played at a more reasonable 4PM but it will fall during the second slate of NFL football games. Have your remote controller handy.

1 comment:

  1. C.C. and Teixeira have quickly moved high onto my most favorite Yankees list this year, Jay, and with good reason. The Big Guy has been every bit the ace the Yanks expected and quite frankly needed, anchoring an improved staff. He's also been quite a stopper, just coming out and shutting down teams when the Yanks needed a W. I fully expected him to win last night. He is just that reliable. He is also just sooo tough, mentally and physically. He doesn't waver, and just shrugged off that comebacker off his chest from that pest Gutierrez. Don't fuck with The Big Guy seemed to be his message the rest of last night's stint.

    And Teixeira has been no less important to the Yanks on both sides of the ball. He is a flat-out nasty three-hole hitter, and he really should have had three homers last night were it not for the run-saving deflection by that nemesis Gutierrez. I really expect him and A-Rod to have very good Octobers, I honestly do. His defense is just outstanding--leaning well into the stands for that catch last night, making the sliding grab last week over his shoulder, then throwing home to hold the runner from his knees. He has made more good, crucial plays from his knees this season than Giambi ever did standing upright in his seven years in pinstripes. What a tradition of great first baseman the Yanks have cultivated in the last quarter century--Donnie Baseball, Tino, and Teixeira.

    As much as their play on the field, I love that with C.C. and Teixeira, the Yanks got good, solid, MATURE players who fit well into the clubhouse. They genuinely seem like the kind of players who mesh well wherever they are, because of their sterling play but also because of their demeanor.

    C.C. and Teixeira have been nothing short of two of the best free-agent pickups in recent memory for any team, just what the Yankees needed at two vital positions, and in the locker room. Great to have them locked up well into the next decade.