[WE data via FanGraphs]
On an ordinary night against Roy Halladay, the rough patch that CC Sabathia hit in the fourth might have been enough to put the Yankees behind for the rest of the night.
The Big Fella had allowed only one walk and struck out six the first time through the order but things started going awry when Chase Utley chopped one right back over Sabathia's head that he could only deflect with his pitching hand out of reflex (he seems to do this more often than most pitchers, no?). Placido Polanco then looped a soft flare up the middle just out of CC's reach, Ryan Howard got hit with a 1-2 pitch and the Phillies were in business - bases loaded with no one out. Jayson Werth poked the first pitch he saw through the left side to get the Phillies on the board. Raul Ibanez fell behind 0-2 before fighting back bring the count full and ground one to right field to give the Phils their second run.
With the bases still loaded, Ben Francisco grounded a ball softly to Mark Teixeira in what looked like enough time for Teix to come home with the throw and get the force out. Instead, he went to second base apparently looking to start a double play but Sabathia didn't make it to first to cover, seemingly surprised that Teix didn't try to stop the runner from scoring. That third run was all the Phillies would get across in the game or the inning as CC struck out Juan Castro and Carlo Ruiz grounded out to end the threat.
On many nights, three runs seems like an impossible task against Halladay. Fortunately, the Yanks offense had already spotted Sabathia five in the first three innings. Brett Garnder slashed a two run triple in the second and Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher both took Doc deep in the third. Mark Teixeira also went yard in the fifth on a sky high pop up that kept carrying towards the right field foul pole and snuck out right by the camera stand.
Halladay had allowed just three home runs all year long and the Yankees doubled that total in a span of three innings. It's not like he was just throwing meatballs - the pitch Granderson went deep on was well down and in - but he left an inordinate number of fastballs over the middle of the plate. His typical movement just wasn't there and the Yanks went to town. Due in part to a 29 pitch second inning, Halladay was at 100 through six innings and that was it.
The Yanks were lucky to catch a great pitcher on an off night and if it wasn't for some tough breaks for CC in the fourth, this one never would have been in doubt. The Yanks look to keep the ball rolling tonight as the significantly less intimidating Jamie Moyer squares up against A.J. Burnett.