Friday, May 31, 2013

Yankees Overcome Lester as CC Dominates

Finally, timely hitting and dominant pitching took place in the same game for the Yankees. They sent their ace lefty CC Sabathia to the mound after his worst start of the year on Sunday when he gave up seven runs to a light-hitting Rays team. CC likes pitching in the heat, and being that I was at tonight's game I can say that this was ideal CC Sabathia pitching weather. CC rattled off 7.1 dominating innings, allowing only one run on six hits. The big lefty struck out ten batters and did not give up a walk. Sabathia's breaking pitches were on point tonight, as Red Sox lefties were 0-12 with four strikeouts off Sabathia. His fastball velocity was also up in this start. CC's four-seam fastball average velocity was 92.58 MPH and his two-seamer average velocity was at 91.08 MPH. Sabathia's fastball topped out at 94.35 MPH as he blew past a strong Red Sox lineup.

I have to eat crow about what I said regarding Sabathia no longer being an ace. He takes time to get going and perhaps this was the start that will begin a stretch where Sabathia can put the Yankees on his back every fifth day. When asked if Girardi, who was tossed in the fifth inning, saw any difference in CC's pitches Girardi said that the only difference he noticed was that his ace was throwing harder. Those who say that fastball velocity isn't important can look back at tonight's game and compare it to Sabathia's last start where his average fastball didn't break 91 MPH.

The offense was able to get the key hits when they needed them. The scoring began for the Yankees in the second inning when Jayson Nix and Ichiro collected RBI base hits to give Sabathia an early 2-0 lead. In his return from the DL, Kevin Youkilis drove in a run in the fifth off his former teammate Jon Lester. The Yankees would cap their scoring off when Gardner slapped an RBI single off lefty pitcher Andrew Miller to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead that they would hand over to Mariano Rivera who pitched a scoreless ninth inning to save his nineteenth game of the season. Rivera came right back after blowing a save to the Mets on Tuesday night. Mark Teixeira went 0-3 in his return to the Bronx with a walk and a run scored in the second inning. 

The Yankees have moved to within one game of the AL East leading Red Sox. Tomorrow's game is really a toss-up as Phil Hughes will face off against lefty Felix Doubront. The Yankees have been hit or miss against Doubront. They will look to hit him tomorrow as I believe the game will be a high scoring game on both ends. 

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