Sunday, September 13, 2009

CC, Melky, Matsui Spur Yanks To Win

Today's game was far closer than the 13-3 final score indicates, as the Yankees didn't blow things open until late, with an eight run eighth inning.

After taking 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI double from Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees fell behind 2-1 in the second, and then 3-1 in the fourth. CC Sabathia can really only be held accountable for two of the three runs, as Johnny Damon recorded the second out of the fourth inning, thought it was the third, and nearly tossed the ball into the stands, allowing Justin Turner to tag from second base and score.

The Yankees tied it up in the bottom of the fourth, using a two run single from Melky Cabrera to score Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano. They were threatening to plate more as A-Rod came up with the bases loaded and two outs. He took a 2-2 pitch just off the outside corner and was rung up by home plate umpire Marty Foster. A bad call, but not an egregiously bad like the call Foster made against Derek Jeter back in July.

It seemed like a dead issue until the Yankees came to bat again in the bottom of the fifth. Before Hideki Matsui could step to the plate, A-Rod was ejected, causing Joe Girardi to absolutely lose his mind and earning him an early shower as well. Girardi took his sweet time leaving the field, giving Foster more than a piece of his mind. When crew chief Wally Bell finally came to intervene, Giradi made brief contact with Bell, which could potentially earn him a suspension.

From there, Sabathia went on cruise control, allowing just two walks after Damon's mental error. The score remained tied into the sixth, when Matsui came up with one of his two big hits on the day, driving in Jeter and Damon to give the Yanks a 5-3 lead.

Sabathia exited after seven with another solid, if unspectacular start: seven innings, five hits, three earned, four walks, and just one strikeout. Phil Hughes worked around a leadoff single in the eighth and Mariano Rivera was getting ready in the pen as the Yanks came to take their hacks in the bottom of the inning. By the time the Yankees were done hitting, he wouldn't be needed.

As he did in the sixth, Matsui struck the big blow, blasting a three run homer to right to make it 8-3. Melky Cabrera added a two run double, and then the Yanks added three more on doubles from Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira.

With a ten run lead, Brian Bruney came on to close it out, sandwiching two outs between two walks. Once again, his knack for free passes prevented him from finishing an inning, as Tony Pena called on Edwar Ramirez to close it out. The Yanks avoided the sweep; we'll be back tomorrow for the make up game against the Halos.

Game 144: You Won't See Me

The Yanks will look to salvage the final game of the season's final series against Baltimore. The final meeting between these two teams this year will be a rematch of the of their first meeting, back on Opening Day, as CC Sabathia goes against Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie got the W and CC took the loss on Opening Day, then they reversed roles in a May 8th rematch as the Big Fella tossed a shutout.

For the season, Sabathia is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.10 WHIP against the O's. He's been on a tear since early August, going 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA in seven starts, all of which have been Yankee victories. Over 51.1 innings, he's fanned 63, walked just 11, and allowed only 4 home runs. Opponents are OPSing an anemic .539 against him.

Guthrie is 1-3 against the Yankees this year, with a 4.68 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. In his last four starts Guthrie is 3-1, the only loss coming against the Yankees on August 31st. Over that stretch he's posted a 1.33 ERA, held opponents to a .587 OPS, and has 15:4 K:BB over 27 innings of work.

Johnny Damon returns to left field today as the Yankees run out the "A" line-up this afternoon, with Melky Cabrera getting the start in center.

The Yankees won't see the Orioles again until next year. As for today, the Yankees will likely have a near capacity crowd, but with Derek Jeter's chase of Lou Gehrig now complete, today's game being relatively meaningless, and today being the first Sunday of the NFL season, I would imagine that fewer people than usual will be seeing the game on YES. Thankfully, the Yanks game should be wrapping up by the time the Giants and Redskins kick off at 4:15, so for today at least the viewing conflicts should be minimized.