("CANDY BARS!!!!!" Courtesy of Getty Images)
I know it was against the Indians, whose lineup is lefty-heavy and shitty, but I'll tell you this right now. If CC Sabathia is going to stay healthy and pitch like he did last night for the next 2 months, the Yankees are going to be just fine. They've been very uneven in their starting rotation for a while now, in part because of CC's second DL trip, but having him back in that 1-spot with Kuroda behind them makes the rotation a lot deeper and a lot better. I still have my concerns about that elbow barking again after another few starts, but CC gave no reason to be worried about him last night. He was terrific.
- The Yankee lineup rudely welcome Corey Kluber to the party with a pair of doubles by Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher to start the game and give New York a 1-0. After a walk to Robinson Cano and a visit to the mound after just 3 batters, Kluber was able to settle down and pitch.
- Jeter took a fastball from Kluber off the helmet the next time he came to the plate in the 2nd inning, and he was not happy about it. Whether it was intentional or not, it was a bit of a bush league move by Kluber, who's a nobody, and Jeter had a right to be hot.
- CC worked perfectly through the first 3 innings, retiring every Indian hitter on either a groundout or strikeout. His 4-seamer command was back, and he was mixing his sinker and slider beautifully late in the count to get swings and misses and bad contact.
- Sabathia made one mistake all night, and it was in the bottom of the 4th when he threw a 2-0 sinker that stayed up to Asdrubal Cabrera. It was 1 pitch after he threw behind Cabrera for ball 2, likely as attempted payback for Jeter, and Cabrera hit it for a home run to center to tie the game at 1.
- The Yanks did nothing after the 1st, but they certainly had their chances to blow the game open. They loaded the bases in the 2nd, put runners on second and third with 1 out in the 5th, and came away with no runs both times.
- The lineup finally came back around in the 7th once Cleveland went to their bullpen, and it was Jeter and Swish again. Jeter singled to start the inning, Swish drove him in with a 2-run HR to give the Yankees the 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish.
- CC pitched into the 8th, and D-Rob and Soriano took it from there. Soriano got himself into some trouble in the 9th, but worked out of it without allowing a run, giving the Yankees a win they needed to start this series off on the right foot.
- Sabathia: 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, W. Joe let him go to 100 pitches, and CC gave him no reason to think that he wasn't capable of doing that. He had everything working, he got ahead in the count, he got 15 swings and misses, and recorded 9 outs on the ground. It was everything you expect CC to be when he's got his "ace" stuff and command.
- Swish: 3-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Imagine if Joe would have moved Swish into the 2-hole in the lineup months ago. Dude is certainly playing like he wants a Jayson Werth contract.
- Jeter: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 K. Just setting the table for Swish. No big deal.
- Eric Chavez: 0-4, 3 K, 3 LOB. Tough night at the dish for Chavey.
- Mark Teixeira: 0-4, 2 K, 4 LOB. Ditto for Teix.
Second game of this series is tonight, with Hiroki Kuroda returning to the mound to try to keep his hot streak going. Justin Masterson opposes him for Cleveland.