Monday, April 30, 2012

Game 21 Wrap-Up: NYY 6 DET 2

(Not quite parachute-y enough... Courtesy of The AP)

After Saturday's mid-day game after a night game, the Yanks and Tigers closed out the series yesterday with a day game after a mid-day game featuring CC Sabathia and Max Scherzer.  The Yankees had to make a roster move to provide enough bullpen depth for the game after a taxing 2 games covering for Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia, and they were looking to their ace for length.

Game Notes:

- It seems weird to have the first point be about the offense and not the starting pitching, but the Yankee lineup made the first big plays of the day in the quietest way possible.  After stranding 2 walks in the 1st inning, the Yankees struck for 2 in the bottom of the 2nd after a walk, a GB single through the 1st base hole, an infield single, another walk, and another infield single.

- CC was cruising through 3 innings and continued to look more and more like the CC we're used to seeing.  His fastball was lively, he commanded it to both sides of the plate, and his slider was working as a swing-and-miss pitch.

- Wins and losses aside, the most important moment of the game was Nick Swisher leaving with a hamstring injury after drawing a walk and jogging to first in the bottom of the 3rd inning.  Joe confirmed after the that it was a low-grade strain and the plan is to rest Swish for a few days, but I can't remember the last time I saw somebody hurt themselves on a walk.

- CC's cruise continued into the 4th inning, right up to the point when Prince Fielder CRUSHED a HR into the 2nd deck in right field on a hanging slider to cut the lead to 2-1.  CC hung a slider and Fielder just murdered it.

- Curtis Granderson countered Fielder's shot with one of his own in the bottom half of the inning, though, and the lead stayed at 2 runs.  CC recovered and allowed only 1 more run for the rest of the game while pitching 8 strong innings.

- The offense gave CC some insurance with 2 more scratch runs in the 7th.  Rally starter Chris Stewart scored on an A-Rod FC and Jeter came home on a sac fly off the bat of Robbie Cano.  It was the most successful day of "nothing" offense I've ever seen.  If you called it anything, you would call it "relentlessly patient and locationally lucky" as 9 walks and some well-placed infield hits are really what got the job done.

- Laser HR from Swish's replacement, Andruw Jones, in the 8th and a 1-2-3 inning from D-Rob in the 9th and the 6-2 game win and 2-1 series win was complete.

F*ck Yeahs:

- Sabathia: 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.  3rd straight win for the big man and it was the most CC-like performance of the season.  He threw strikes, commanded the plate with his fastball, and tore up the Detroit righties and lefties equally with his offspeed stuff.

- Jones: 2-2, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB.  Provided plenty of production in Swish's absence and did all his damage against right-handed hitters.  With Swish out for a few days, that's a good sign.

- Jeter: 2-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K.  The leadoff hitter was on base 4 times, which is what you want to see.  And Jeter drew more than his share of walks this week.

Oh Nos:

- Mark Teixeira: 0-5, 5 LOB.  The lead could have gotten a lot bigger a lot earlier if Teix could have come through on a few opportunities.  He was the only batter to not reach base once.

Next Up:

Once again, the Yankees will try to turn a series win into some longer-term momentum when they begin a series against Baltimore at The Stadium.  Hiroki Kuroda will take the mound tonight against Jason Hammel.

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