That's CC's 4-seamer location plot for his start against Tampa last week.
That's CC's 4-seamer location plot for his start last night.
It doesn't look like a huge difference but last night's plot is noticeably more concentrated in the lower half of the strike zone. The majority of his fastballs against Tampa were middle-up, and when you're throwing a low-90s fastball in that part of the strike zone you're going to get beat up. Last night, CC's average 4-seamer velocity was 91.9 MPH, slightly up from the 91.1 MPH average on 5/26. That little bit more velocity and better location can make all the difference when you're facing the best hitters on the planet and last night it did. If this is a continuation of an upward trend with CC's fastball, I don't think we have to worry about him moving forward. I think he's going to be just fine.
It would have been accurate to say the Yankees limped into last night's game against the Fraud Sawx based on the way they'd played in the previous series. It also would have been fair to say the same thing about CC Sabathia, who had gotten knocked around something fierce in his last start. But Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis both returned to the lineup last night, adding much needed power, patience, and health to a lineup in need of all 3, so throw "limped" out the window. The offense woke up just enough to put more than 1 run on the board last night, CC was absolutely dominant in a very satisfying return to form, and the Yanks ended their 5-game losing streak.
- The lineup gave CC all the run support he would need in the bottom of the 2nd, and it was the bottom of the order getting it done against Jon Lester. Teix and Vernon Wells set the table to lead off the inning, and a pair of RBI singles by Jayson Nix and Ichiro Suzuki made it 2-0.
- CC gave up 1 hit in each of the first 3 innings, but he seemed to really find his stride after getting a double play in the top of the 3rd. He retired the next 10 batters he faced in order, including striking out the side in the 5th, to keep Bahhston scoreless through 6.
- Teix started the first run-scoring rally in the 2nd with a walk and Youkilis finished the next one in the 5th with an RBI single to make it 3-0. Joe got ejected earlier in the inning arguing a play at second so at least that wasn't in vain.
- The only run CC allowed came in the 7th on a pair of doubles. He limited the damage to just 1 though and was incredibly strong all night. Fastball was living in the mid 92s, sinker had good bite, slider was unhittable. Vintage CC to say the least.
- Brett Gardner drove in an insurance run in the 7th. Final tally on Teix and Youkilis: 0-3 w/ a BB, R, and 2 K and 1-4 w/ 1 RBI and 2 K respectively.
- Sabathia, D-Rob, Mo. That's how you draw it up when you've got your ace on the mound if you're Joe and that's just how it went down last night. Perfect way to end a losing streak.