(That helmet deserved better. Courtesy of Getty Images)
The general school of thought around the blogosphere right now is that the Yankees aren't going anywhere in the postseason, if they make it, without CC Sabathia finding his game. While I don't necessarily think that's a 100% certainty, I do think CC pitching at the level he's capable of makes the Yankees a lot more dangerous. CC didn't get the benefit of the slapdick Toronto offense as his opposition last night, but the Oakland A's lineup was only slightly more potent. A more efficient, more CC-like performance against a potential postseason team would have been a great way for CC to start getting right over his final couple of starts.
- Sabathia was on his game early. He struck out the side in the top of the 1st, needing 24 pitches to do it, and held the A's hitless in their first turn through 3 innings.
- Oakland starter Jarrod Parker matched CC 0 for 0 until the bottom of the 4th, when the Yankee offense finally managed to string a couple of hits together. Nick Swisher singled, Alex Rodriguez singled, and Curtis Granderson plated Swish with a sac fly.
- Things only got better for CC and his slider going into the middle innings. He struck out the side swinging in the 5th, and was still looking at a 0 in the opposing "H" column.
- The offense got precious few chances after they scored in the 4th, and they killed most of those chances themselves. Ichiro ran himself into an out trying to stretch a single in the 5th, and Robinson Cano grounded into a double play to end the 6th.
- CC's no-hit bid ended with a leadoff single in the 7th, but he kept right on throwing up zeros. He ran out of gas in the 8th and actually loaded the bases, but managed to get out it unscathed. The people wanted dominance from CC, and they got it last night.
- Once again, Joe didn't have much of a choice with a 1-run game, but he went to the Rafael Soriano well for the 4th time in 3 days and it didn't work out. Soriano gave up a game-tying HR to Brandon Moss and the game went to extra.
- No, that wasn't a typo. The Yankees only had to play 1 extra inning thanks to Russell Martin, who led off the bottom of the 10th with a game-winning solo HR to . Ballgame over, Yankees win.
- Sabathia: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K, ND. Was in line for the win after 8, and he definitely deserved to get it. CC looked better than he has in months, showing mid-90s fastball velocity for most of the night and sporting a really nasty swing-and-miss slider. There were no question that he was feeling good last night, and that's an encouraging sign for this rotation and this team.
- Ichiro: 2-3, 1 SB. Got another 2 hits in a game where they were hard to come by, and made another solid defensive play in left early to help out his pitcher. Ichiro is playing his best baseball of the season right now, simple as that.
- Cano: 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB. Another stinker. Cano has been quietly average this month. What the eff, guy?
- C-Grand: 0-3, 1 RBI, 3 K, 1 LOB. I don't give him credit for the RBI. The 3 Ks were a bigger deal.
6 in a row, 8 of 9, and 11 of 15. It hasn't been as newsworthy as the team-wide slump was, but if the Yankees ever start to hit with any kind of consistency, they'll really be tough. Ivan Nova looks to keep the winning streak rolling this afternoon against Travis Blackley.