Sunday, April 7, 2013

Yankees Salvage One in Detroit

CC Sabathia and the Yankees offense did what they needed to do today against Justin Verlander. The Yankees managed to get to Verlander early, who did not look sharp throughout the entire game. Kevin Youkilis owned Verlander, by hitting a double and working a walk against the former Cy Young and MVP winner. However, the big hit in this game was courtesy

of Jayson Nix who started at shortstop as a replacement for the still sore Eduardo Nunez. Nix crushed a two-run shot off Verlander in the second inning to give Sabathia some breathing room which made the score 3-0 at the time. Cervelli's hot hitting continued as he collected another two hits and two more RBI on an RBI double in his first career at bat against Verlander and another RBI hit in the eighth to give the Yankees more of a cushion with a 5-0 lead.

Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner continue to struggle despite both players collecting a hit each. Gardner is hitting too many fly balls and hit timing is way off. Cano is just swinging at pitches out of the strike zone and looks like a beaten man when trying to catch up to fastballs. Those hitters need to start hitting to give the Yankees an additional edge down the stretch. The Yankees need Gardner's speed on the bases and they really need Cano's power with so many power hitters missing from the lineup.

CC Sabathia did not look sharp at all today, but managed to blank the Tigers potent offense through seven innings. Today, Sabathia defined what an ace is while not having ace-like stuff. He was able to get through the game without giving up any big hits to the middle of the Tigers lineup. He struggled with the hitters down in the order but no harm, no foul. Sabathia was effective and got the Yankees through the seventh inning and avoided making Girardi go to Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan, who have been awful thus far in a small sample. David Robertson got himself into trouble in the bottom of the eighth but was able to wiggle out of trouble, with his usual Houdini act.

This was a pivotal victory for the Yankees, both morally and statistically. You don't want to start off a season by going 1-5 and winning against a top flight pitcher like Justin Verlander really gives your club a boost mentally. The victory should be able to be a launching point for the Yankees, who will enter Cleveland tomorrow for four games to pay a visit to their old pal Nick Swisher. Hiroki Kuroda will get the start tomorrow against the erratic Ubaldo Jimenez.

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