(Courtesy of the AP)
From one AL East road trip to another, the Yankees made their way to Tampa to start a 3-game series against the awakening Rays last night, and they went in with their ace, CC Sabathia, on the mound. They needed him too because they were facing another lefty and a good one at that in Matt Moore. Joe tinkered with the lineup a bit again to try to find a combination that worked, but the late scratch of Kevin Youkilis due to his back tightening up on him again left the lineup even weaker than usual. The situation couldn't have been better for Moore, and he thoroughly dominated.
- Not the 1st inning CC wanted. It was bad when he hung an 0-2 slider to Ryan Roberts for a solo HR. It was worse when he gave up two straight hits with 2 outs to bring in another run. And it got even worse when he followed that up by giving up a 2-run bomb to Yunel Escobar.
- Moore plowed through the lineup the first time through the order, then got touched up a bit when Robinson Cano took him deep to break up the no-hitter and shutout in the top of the 4th.
- CC worked around a 2nd-inning leadoff HBP but still didn't seem right in the innings after. He was flexing his pitching a lot on the mound and in the dugout, and he gave up his second HR to Roberts in the bottom of the 3rd to make it a 5-1 deficit.
- Cano's homer gave the Yanks a little life, but there was really no more offense to speak of against Moore. He abused the Yankee hitters with his fastball mix and retired the last 8 batters he faced on his way to 8 1-run innings.
- The Yanks had one decent chance in the top of the 6th after a Brett Gardner leadoff walk and Cano 1-out single. Moore started to look shaky, but regrouped to strike out Vernon Wells and pop up Frankie to end the threat.
- Give CC credit. He got it together after the poor start, and at least limited the damage to just 5 through 7 innings. His velocity was actually better than last time, he just got hurt on bad location.
- Cano: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 LOB. The only player in the lineup to do anything of significance against Moore.
- Sabathia: 7 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 8 K. Sure, the damage was really only in the first 3 innings, and CC was really good after the 3rd, but he was pretty bad in those first 3 innings. 3 HR off CC is unheard of, and even if it turns out to be nothing, the image of him continuing to flex and shake his pitching hand was a bit unnerving.
- Wells: 0-4, 3 K, 3 LOB. Didn't have a chance against Moore.
- Ben Francisco: 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB. Why the fuck is this guy on the team again?