(Courtesy of the AP)
With a more forgiving outfield setup in Oakland, Lyle Overbay was back in right field last night when the Yankees kicked off a series against the A's. The decision was just as much a statement about Overbay's still-very-important value to this team as it was a statement about Vernon Wells basically being useless. Wells hasn't hit for a month, to the point that his current offensive numbers are worse than what he put up last season. The Yankees need to start turning things around offensively, and they had a tough pitcher against whom to try to do that in Bartolo Colon. He's still going strong in Oakland and outpitched CC Sabathia last night.
- Top 1st, bases loaded, 1 out, 0 runs from it. I feel like I've heard this tune before...
- And that familiar sad tune looked like a big problem when CC gave up 2 runs in the first 2 innings. His fastball velocity was back down to 90-91 and the Oakland hitters weren't fooled by it. They were timing him up and teeing off.
- CC got the velocity up a tick in the middle innings, but he never found the command of his fastball and it seemed like the rest of his pitches suffered because of it. He gave up the back-breaking 3-run HR to Derek Norris in the 5th on a poorly-placed curveball.
- It didn't help that the offense was lifeless again after the top of the 1st. They sprinkled a few baserunners here and there through 7, never more than 1 and never past first base.
- They finally decided to wake up when the game was out of reach in the 8th. Mark Teixeira hit the third of 3 straight singles to lead off the 8th to plate a run and drove in 2 more in the 9th to make the game respectable.
- Robinson Cano: 2-3, 1 2B, 2 R, 2 BB. Not a bad night for Robbie if he's truly starting to turn things around. He said he was ready to break out before the game, and this type of line supports that claim.
- Preston Claiborne: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Still hasn't walked a batter.
- Sabathia: 6 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. Just a very blah game for CC all around. His stuff was blah, his command was blah. Definitely not the sharp, crisp stuff we saw the last few times out. Very ordinary.
- Overbay: 0-3, 1 K, 5 LOB. Lotta ducks left on the pond by Lyle last night. Playing time's a 2-way straight, dude. You gotta
These 2 will get back after it tonight in game two of the series. Phil Hughes-Dan Straily is the pitching matchup.