(Don'tcha know. Courtesy of The AP)
CC Sabathia has been one of the hottest starting pitchers in the American League over the last 2 weeks or so. David Price could make that same claim. Truth be told, I would have rather had this game be the ESPN weekly national game and not Wednesday night's. Ace vs. ace; 2 big lefties; that's must-see TV in my book.
- CC's line after 2 innings was not an accurate representation of how he pitched, as both runs he allowed were unearned courtesy of 2 Eduardo Nunez errors, 1 each of the fielding and throwing variety. The defense is really starting to become a problem for me with Nunez. Chavez better pass his concussion tests.
That being said, CC did give up 4 hits in the first 2, so he wasn't exactly sharp either as the Yankees went down 2-0 early. Not everything was hard hit, but CC seemed just a tick off with his location.
- Fortunately for the Yankee offense, they quickly bailed Nunez and CC out with 2 runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Curtis Granderson, the guy who I said was going to keep being a monster, yanked his 11th HR of the season off an inside Price fastball that didn't get inside enough to cut the lead in half. Then Eduardo Nunez walked, stole 2nd base, and came around to score on a single by THE Chris Stewart, who found himself at third base when all was said and done on the play after the Rays decided to practice their "Keystone Kops" routine. Price looked no sharper than CC, and it was a 2-2 ballgame.
- After getting his 2nd hit to lead off the bottom of the 3rd, I sent my uncle a text saying, "Cano is starting to break out. I can feel it." Sure enough, the next time he came to the plate with Nick Swisher on in the 5th inning, he took a 1st-pitch hanging slider from Price and LAUNCHED it into the right-center field seats for his 4th HR of the season and a 4-2 Yankee lead.
- CC started to find it after a 1-2-3 inning in the 3rd and seemed to get a little bit better every inning thereafter until he was back to the dominant form we've seen recently. That point was punctuated in the 6th when CC came out and struck out the side, and then again in the 7th when he threw 2 straight sliders by B.J. Upton to end the threat.
- The Yankee offense was never able to connect on the final knockout punch to Price despite getting 5 runs, 11 hits, and 3 walks off him, and the game was still close enough at 5-2 heading into the late innings.
- I would have been happy to see CC be done after 7 innings and 109 pitches, but he must have felt good because Joe sent him out for the 8th and he retired the side in order on 10 pitches. Big night for CC; double digit K and GB outs.
- With D-Rob unavailable, it was Soriano's game to close and he did just that, although not without a garbage run scoring after a leadoff single. 5-3 Yanks and a series win against a division rival.
- Cano: 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Got the batting line up to .286/.331/.437. Not exactly Josh Hamilton numbers, but he's starting to put it together.
- Sabathia: 8 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, W. 8 of the 10 strikeouts were swinging. People always like to mention how playing for the Yankees will get him more wins because of the runs they score. Remember that it's not just that. CC gets a lot of wins because he's a damn good pitcher.
- Alex Rodriguez: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K. Quietly putting together a solid week of baseball.
- Nunez: 2-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SB. What he did at the plate was nice, but the defense is horrendous. He can't catch and he can't throw. No disrespect to Jayson Nix, but if you're getting replaced in a late-game situation for defensive purposes by Jayson Nix, that's not a good thing.
- Mark Teixeira: 0-3, 1 BB, 3 LOB. A slash line of .212/.269/.364 and a .276 wOBA, Mark? Let's start picking that up, huh?
- Derek Jeter: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K. Oof. Haven't seen an 0-fer with 3 GBs in a while from The Captain. Or if we have, I don't remember it.
The Jesus will be resurrected in Yankee Stadium for the first time since the Pineda trade when the Seattle Mariners come to town for a weekend series. The big buzz surrounding the series is Andy's return on Sunday, but first Hiroki Kuroda will take the hill in game 1 of the series tonight. Eric Chavez could also be cleared to play tonight.