(Home runs = Happy. Courtesy of the AP)
Normally, a Yanks-Sawx season-ending series at The Stadium with playoff implications tied to it would be enough to have me bringing an extra pair of undies to the office and making sure I spent the majority of my day sitting down, if you catch my drift. This season, not so much. The Sawx are a dead stick just coasting to the finish line of their disastrous season, and the Yankees are seemingly having to scratch and claw for every little thing they get while the Orioles just keep doing that impossible-to-statistically-explain voodoo that they do. The Yanks had CC Sabathia on the hill for the opener last night, which gave them the clear advantage, and they expanded that advantage quickly by rocking Bahhston starter Clay Buchholz.
- Buchholz threw a 1-2-3 1st inning, and that was where his effectiveness ended. Robinson Cano led off the 2nd with a home run, Curtis Granderson hit a 2-run shot 2 batters later, and Russell Martin went back-to-back (and belly-to-belly) to make it 4-0.
- But it didn't stop there. Buchholz walked a few guys, Ichiro singled the bases loaded, and Cano came up again and doubled home 2 runs to end Clay's night. And Marky Mark Teixeira, in his second AB back from injury, welcomed Alfredo Aceves to the game with a 2-run shot to make it a 9-0 Yankee lead.
- When it was all said and done, the Yankees tied a franchise record by hitting 4 HR in one inning. It was the third time in team history that they've done that. Making history is always cool.
- Sabathia's job became easier when he saw Bobby V's lineup, and even easier after the offense handed him a 9-0 lead. Sabathia pitched appropriately, going heavy on the fastball-slider and pounding the strike zone.
- CC did give up a few runs, one of a solo HR by Daniel Nava in the 4th and another on a walk, wild pitch, and sac fly in the 7th, but he was in full control all night. He finished with 7 strikeouts, 6 on the slider, which continues to be a money pitch for him.
- I was getting ready to complain about the offense going dormant after the 9-run barrage, but they did put another run on the board late and it came via Melky Mesa. In his first career AB he singled home Eduardo Nunez on a groundball back up the box. Good for him.
- In what was likely his final appearance of the 2012 season, and possibly final appearance as a Yankee, Freddy Garcia pitched a scoreless 9th.
- Cano: 3-5, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 LOB. As quiet as he was for most of September, Cano has come back big time and he's barking LOUD right now. He's one of the best in the biz when he's locked in, and if he's not locked in right now he's dangerously close. This is good news.
- C-Grand: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 LOB. Get that batting average back over .230, guy! Do it!
- Sabathia: 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, W. 3rd straight dominant start, 3rd straight 8-inning start, and as good as he looked it's pretty easy to say that CC could have shut this Fraud Sawx lineup down completely if he wanted to. He pitched to the lead he had, gave up a few hits and runs here and there, and got his work in. Fastball was lively, slider was almost unittable when he located it, and he worked his changeup into the mix well. The injuries are in the rearview now, and he's back to being the ace.
- Alex Rodriguez: 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 SF, 2 K. Didn't feel like getting in on the offensive onslaught, huh? That's cool. Just get your shit together before the playoffs start, alright?
The lineup that Bobby V put out last night made it pretty clear that the Fraud Sawx are just laying down in this series, maybe as a way to get some late revenge on the O's for last season. Those O's lost last night, giving the Yankees a 1-game lead and a chance to lock up the division tonight with a win when David Phelps takes Ivan Nova's spot in the rotation.