Monday, May 20, 2013

Non-Starter Provides Yanks with Winning Run

The story tonight (before Hafner's ninth inning homer) was CC Sabathia who was given three runs early in the game. However, Sabathia did not last long in this one by his standards. He surrendered eleven hits and unraveled in the seventh inning where he allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score on consecutive doubles by Nick Markakis and JJ Hardy. Sabathia's velocity is still sitting at about 90 MPH, which isn't a velocity that will fool hitters when he is not hitting his spots. Sabathia is left to rely on his off-speed pitches, which have been effective but work off of the fastball. If the fastball isn't working, the off-speed pitches will not work for many pitchers. Although Sabathia did not walk any batters, he only struck out two which is further proof that he wasn't fooling anybody today. In the first inning, he didn't give up any hits but that is courtesy of a couple of nice plays by his defense. Father Time is catching up to Sabathia, because giving up two leads in a gave is not something CC Sabathia and the Yankees are accustomed to. In the past, he was able to blow people away, which is not the case for the big lefty this season. Fortunately for him instead of getting a loss, CC settles with a no decision thanks to a Travis Hafner solo home run in the ninth inning to tie the game off closer Jim Johnson. Tonight was Johnson's third straight blown save in his last three save opportunities.
All of the above will be secondary to what the Yankees offense managed to do in the ninth and tenth innings. Travis Hafner pronked Jim Johnson in the ninth inning with a long home run to left field which tied the game at 4. He also provided the Yankees with an insurance run in the tenth inning by ripping an RBI single off lefty Brian Matusz. Hafner has always been clutch in his career, and if not for the injuries he could have been something really special.

Robertson came into the game to pitch the ninth and dominated the O's big boppers, keeping them all in the park and surrendering only an infield single to Adam Jones. In the top of the tenth inning, Ichiro doubled down the right field line to give himself a 20 game hitting streak at Camden Yards after beginning the game 0-3. After Romine's sac bunt to move Ichiro to third, Wells came up and his a grounds-rule double to left field and scored the go-ahead run before Hafner singled in another run, as mentioned in the above paragraph. Mariano Rivera came into the game and did the job for the seventeenth time this year to cap off a thrilling come-back win by the Yankees.

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