(Courtesy of the AP)
Small sample size or not, getting swept by the Tigers to finish off a 1-5 start to the season would have been bad news for the Yankees. They hadn't pitched well coming into yesterday's game, they hadn't hit much better, and to lose again with CC Sabathia on the mound would definitely get the panic meter started. Fortunately it didn't come to that, as CC was much better than he was on Opening Day and in a very ace-like performance (for all those who still want to argue that he's not) outdueled Justin Verlander to get his team a much-needed win.
- The bottom of the order got the offense started in the top of the 2nd. Francisco Cervelli, continuing to tighten his grip on the starting job, hit a 1-out RBI double and then came home on Jayson Nix's, yes that Jayson Nix's, 2-run HR to make it 3-0 Yanks.
- Sabathia was noticeably better than he was last Monday, both in terms of velocity, which was slight up, and command. He still wasn't in top form, but it was a step in the right direction.
- Through 5 innings, the Tigers had put at least one baserunner on in each inning. But CC always worked around it, throwing a lot of good sliders and changeups, and never allowed a runner past second base.
- To his credit, Verlander regrouped and held the Yankees scoreless from the 3rd inning through his exit with 1 out in the top of the 8th. The bullpen took over from there and it all went south for Detroit, once again at the hands of the bottom of the order.
- After a Vernon Wells double put runners on second and third, Ichiro hit a sac fly to score 1 run and Cervelli came up with another big RBI hit to extend the lead to 5-0. Kevin Youkilis singled in 2 more in the top of the 9th to put the finishing touches on the game.
- D-Rob and Mo haven't gotten a lot of work early, and it showed as each had to work their way around a pair of hits in the 8th in 9th innings. In typical D-Rob and Mo form, however, they ended each inning with a K.
- CC: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K. After needing 102 pitches to get through 5 innings on Opening Day, CC threw 114 in 7 innings yesterday. His 4-seamer velocity was back into the low-90s, and he made a ton of good pitches when he had to to get out of innings. It's not every day guys get to say they outpitched the best in the business. CC did that yesterday without his best stuff.
- Nix: 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Nice bounce back game for Nix after a tough go on Saturday.
- Cervelli: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 LOB. Chris Stewart better start getting comfortable on the bench. Because there's no reason to play him over Cervelli right now.
- Lyle Overbay: 0-4, 1 K, 3 LOB. Only starter to not get at least 1 hit.
A reunion of sorts for guys like Travis Hafner and Nick Swisher will start tonight when the Yankees travel to Cleveland for a 4-game series. Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to start tonight after taking that liner off his hand last week. Ubaldo Jimenez gets the ball for Cleveland.