(PROOOOOOOONK!!!! Courtesy of the AP)
It was back to the lefties for the Yankees last night, yay!!(not yay)! NL ROY runner-up Wade Miley was on the mound for the D-backs and Joe countered with an only slightly modified version of his last "vs. LHP" lineup. He had Vernon Wells in the 2-spot again, Ben Francisco 5th at DH, and Brennan Boesch in right field. He also had the hot-out-of-the-gate Francisco Cervelli hitting 6th ahead of Boesch. The Yankees also had their own lefty on the mound to counter Miley, the same lefty who'd allowed just 1 ER over 15 IP in his last two starts.
- Unfortunately for the Yanks, CC Sabathia was not nearly as sharp to start as he was in those two outings. He struggled to throw his fastball for strikes in the top of the 1st, and left a couple of changeups up, one of which Paul Goldschmidt hit for a 2-run HR.
- CC settled down after that rough 1st, retiring 9 of the next 10 batters he faced to get through the 4th inning. He was getting a few more outs in the air than usual, but his slider and changeup were working.
- Miley was absolutely brilliant through 6 innings, giving up just 2 hits and a walk and keeping the Yankee hitters on their toes. He was at just 77 pitches after 6, and looked ready to go the distance.
- CC gave up another run on a leadoff triple and a sac fly in the 5th and that was all Arizona would get as he went 8 strong for the second straight start. His last 2 innings might have been his best of the game.
- The stage was set for a comeback, and a comeback the Yankees got in the bottom of the 7th, once again with 2 outs. Boesch doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd, Eduardo Nunez drew a walk to load the bases, Jayson Nix drew one to force in a run and chase Miley from the game, and Brett Gardner came through with a HUGE 2-run single off lefty Tony Sipp to complete the comeback and tie the game at 3.
- After the bottom of the order did the heavy lifting in the 7th, Travis Hafner gave New York the lead with a 2-out, pinch hit solo HR. Brilliant use of the bench by Joe pays off in a big spot and Mo shuts it down for the save.
- Gardner: 2-4, 2 RBI, 1 LOB. Without his 2-run single, Hafner's AB in the 8th means nothing. He also almost made a great catch in right-center field. And Joe wants to put C-Grand back in center because ... ?
- Hafner: 1-1, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. PROOOONK!!!!
- Sabathia: 8 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Take away that bad 1st inning and this was almost a carbon copy of his last start. CC's still rounding into form in every facet, and the fact that he's still not at his best and yet able to go out and pitch 7-8 innings of 3-run ball or less with minimal walks is a great sign.
- Cano & Youkilis: Combined 0-7, 2 K, 1 LOB. Might not have been such a nail biter if you boys had bothered to get a hit or two. Move Cano back to the 2-hole!
From the "Pleasant Surprise" Department, the Yanks have a chance for the sweep tonight. Phil Hughes isn't the ideal pitcher to have out there in that situation, but Joe's going to keep throwing him out there. Lefty Patrick Corbin opposes him.