Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CC Conquers The Coliseum

Throughout the first few innings of last night's game, it looked like CC Sabathia was headed for another tough outing in the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and the Yankees towards their third straight loss.

A-Rod got hit in the same place on his elbow he took one off last Wednesday in the top of the first but thankfully remained in the game. Two batters later, Jorge Posada struck out swinging with the bases loaded.

Seemingly in retaliation, CC Sabathia threw one behind Kurt Suzuki at waist level with two outs in the bottom half of the inning and both benches were warned. On the very next pitch Suzuki served up some retribution of his own by rocking a homer deep into the left field seats. Even after tonight, Suzuki is slugging just .393 this year, so it's safe to say he was emboldened by the near-beaning.

Derek Jeter brought Melky Cabrera to the plate in the top of the second on an error by Adam Kennedy at third base for the Yanks' own two out run. It was the first of four errors the A's committed in the game. Kennedy also struck out four times, so perhaps it just wasn't his night. Jeter had three hits for the third night in a row, so once again it was his.

Sabathia gave up another two out solo shot in the bottom of the second inning to Tommy Everidge, a 26 year old career minor leaguer (who Ken Singleton referred to as an "organizational player" during the broadcast) with highly mediocre numbers down on the farm and only 20 MLB games under his belt. Sabathia intentionally walked him in the 6th inning as well, accounting for 4 of the 28 balls he threw on the night and his only free pass, but that's a whole 'nother topic.

The Bombers scored again in the third on a ground rule double by Jorge Posada that drove in A-Rod after he had singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Vin Mazzaro.

The Yanks loaded the bases in the fourth inning with one out for Mark Teixeira, but like A-Rod the night before, he swung at the first pitch and grounded into an inning ending double play. After A-Rod walked and Matsui flew out to center in the 5th, Posada ended that frame with a DP of his own.

The score remained 2-2 at the beginning of the sixth inning at which point Mazzaro was replaced after throwing 103 pitches. From the bench, Mazzaro watched lefty side-arming junkballer Jay Marshall throw the game away with a double, wild pitch, HBP, single and a double before eing pulled in favor of Santiago Casilla with the score now 4-2. After an intentional walk to Mark Teixeira which loaded the bases, Casilla walked A-Rod on 4 pitches to force a run home and gave up a two run single to Hideki Matsui to bring the score to 7-2.

Sabathia settled in and continued his efficient effort, lasting 8 innings and needing just 94 pitches to do so. He struck out three batters in addition to Adam Everett's 4 K's and allowed 5 hits on top of the aforementioned IBB to Everidge. With a 5 run lead, David Robertson was called on for the 9th inning and promptly threw 8 straight balls. He then bore down and retired the next three batters, the first two on swinging strikes.

It took forty minutes longer than the previous night's game to complete, but was still under 3 hours. More importantly, though, the Yanks won and are not facing the prospect of a sweep when Chad Gaudin takes the hill tomorrow night. They remain 7 games up on the Red Sox after they took a topsy turvy affair against the Blue Jays to stay atop the Wild Card standings.

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