(Courtesy of the AP)
CC Sabathia was the big stopper for the Yankees the last time he took the mound. He came back yesterday with a chance to help them start building another winning streak after a satisfying and Zoilo-tastic win on Friday night. He was back in an almost identical starting lineup - hitting 6th and playing left field for Vernon Wells again - against Tampa starter Alex Colome. The AL East race is really starting to heat up with Boston and Baltimore still strong up top and Toronto rattling off 9 in a row to get back to .500. If the Yanks are serious about contending for a playoff spot, they need to start putting together more than 1 or 2 wins at a time.
- The offense squandered a scoring opportunity against Colome in the 2nd and seemed poised to do it again in the 3rd until Zoilo came up. He smacked a 2-run single up the middle with 2 outs to give New York a 2-1 lead.
- Evan Longoria got to him for a solo HR to lead off the 2nd (he's killing Yankee pitching this year) and a double in the 4th, otherwise CC was very good through 5. He was mixing all his pitches well, throwing his fastball for strikes, and getting a ton of GB outs.
- Bad Tampa defense contributed to the first Yankee runs and it did again in the bottom of the 5th on a James Loney throwing error. The Yanks wore down Colome with walks to force in another run and drive him from the game.
- It fell apart quickly for CC in the top of the 6th. He walked Sam Fuld to lead off, Desmond Jennings doubled him to third, and after getting 2 outs the call was made to intentionally walk Longoria to load the bases. As it has to CC before, this backfired when he gave up a grand slam to Wil Myers to make it 5-3 Tampa.
- In an incredible, and ballsy, turn of events, the lineup picked him up in the bottom of the 7th. They loaded the bases again with 1 out, Adams walked in another run with 2 outs, and Joe went to Vernon Wells to pinch hit. Wells rewarded the undeserved faith with a bases-clearing double to put the Yanks back up.
- D-Rob and Mo made the lead stand up again and the Yanks had another comeback win. Maybe the offense is finally starting to come around.
- Zoilo: 1-2, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB. It's only been a few games, but if this kid keeps this up he's going to start working up to Shane Spencer cult hero status.
- Wells: 1-1, 1 2B, 3 RBI. Helluva call by Joe to go to Wells in that situation and a helluvan at-bat by Wells, who got around on an inside fastball. Maybe there was something to that session with the pitching machine.
- Brett Gardner: 0-5, 2 K, 1 LOB. All this offense and no contribution from BG. That's rare.
Don't look now, but the Yankees have won 4 of 6 and they have a chance to win this series and create some distance between them and the Rays with a win this afternoon. It's Old Timer's Day at The Stadium and Ivan Nova and Chris Archer are the starting pitchers.