("I believe I can flyyyy... " Courtesy of The AP)
Well that sucked for 7 innings and then kicked ass for 2. It was a little frustrating to see all those zeros up on the boxscore for the majority of the game, but I'll take 7 bad innings, 2 good, and a win over the opposite any day of the week. CC still isn't nearly as sharp as he needs to be with his fastball, the offense still isn't fully clicking, but a little bit of the late-game magic is starting to trickle back into the Yankees' play right now, and that's not a bad thing.
- I'm not sure what it is with CC that's affecting his fastball command and making him get off to these slow starts, but last night's 1st inning was not good. 3 hits, 1 walk, and a bases-clearing double is never a good way to start a game, and there were fastballs catching too much of the plate and too much hard contact.
- The offense certainly looked baffled by Atlanta starter Mike Minor early on, which is strange considering he's Mike Minor, owner of a 6.01/5.20/4.53 tripleslash. The few opportunities the Yankee bats were able to generate were snuffed out by more RISP Fail.
- The biggest problem with CC last night was that, unlike a lot of his other rough outings, he didn't really get much better as this game went on. He made it through 7 innings, but he was still giving up hard contact.
- I understand what Joe was trying to do in the 7th, and he got the groundball he wanted, but I questioned the decision to walk more runs on base late in a game where your team is already down 3 runs. The weak chopped that Jason Heyward hit actually turned out to work to the Braves' advantage in driving in another run.
- Apparently Mike Minor leaving the game was all the Yankees needed to wake up, because they quickly loaded the bases against Jonny Venters and then unloaded them on Alex Rodriguez's 8th-inning grand slam. It wasn't high, it didn't go that far, but it was still gone and the game was tied.
- Venters gave up another hit to Cano and then gave way to Cory Gerrin, who promptly gave up the game-winning HR to Nick Swisher in what was easily the most dramatic offensive inning the Yankees have had this year.
- Give a call to Clay Rapada for working a scoreless 8th in his 4th straight appearance, and also to Rafael Soriano for his lockdown 1-2-3 9th to save the win.
- Swish: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, . 2 hits, both for extra bases, and the game-winning RBIs? That't'll get you a "fuck yeah" all day, every day.
- The Horse: 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, . Yeah he only had 1 hit, but when it was THE hit of the game, that's more than enough. 29 pitches seen in 5 plate appearances isn't too shabby either.
- CC: 7 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Got bailed out by A-Rod and Swish late, and I hate to put the big fella on here but he earned it. The fastball command continues to be an issue, and he didn't get a whole lot better after the 3-run 1st inning. I don't care who you're facing; 12 baserunners allowed in 7 innings is too many if you're the ace of the staff.
- Andruw Jones: 0-3, 1 K. I was hoping to see some fireworks from 'Druw facing his old team, but got nothing. That's what happens when you don't get regular ABs.
Sole possession of first place feels even better than shared possession, and the Yanks will be looking to extend that new division lead, win their 6th straight game, and finish their 2nd straight series sweep tonight. Good times, good times.