Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yankees Slug the Rays

I expected the Yankees to do well in this series against the Rays. The momentum they had during their home stand was bound to carry over with this group of guys that are building chemistry amongst each other. However, I did not expect them to come into Tampa and completely slug ace pitcher David Price. The Yankees offense got to Price for six runs on two home runs, two consecutive triples and countless doubles in the five innings Price threw against the Yankees. Usually, the match-up between Price and Sabathia goes in the Rays favor but tonight the Yankees broke out the sticks against a former left-handed Cy Young award winner. The offense scored ten runs in all, hitting three homers, two triples and four doubles in their sixteen total hits. Ichiro and Beltran were the only two starters who did not get hits against Tampa Bay pitching. Another notable occurrence surrounded Yangervis Solarte who hit the first home run of his Major League career. It has been a long road for Solarte, but he has proven that he is up at the Major League level to stay, and he is making a loud statement. You know that he won't get sent down when Mark Teixeira returns on Sunday. Along with the home run by Solarte, he also had a double and a single, making him a triple short of hitting for the cycle. He was not the only Yankees who came up just short of hitting for the cycle. Brian Roberts, who was dealing with a sore back for the last few days and before that was in the midst of a terrible slump, was also one hit short of the cycle. However, Roberts was a home run shy of the cycle. He hit a triple, a single and a double.

CC Sabathia was given a nice lead early on, as the score was already 4-0 Yankees by the time Sabathia had already recorded only three outs in the game. Sabathia needed a start like the one he had tonight. His offense scored a lot of runs for him, which allowed the lefty to experiment with pitches and challenge the hitters. Sabathia ended having thrown seven innings, allowing only two runs on seven hits. CC struck out six batters, which is significant because since he lost the velocity on his fastball, his strikeout rates have been lower. Also going in CC's favor was the ability of his defense to turn an around-the-horn triple play (5-4-3) in the third inning with runners on first and second with no outs. His only blemish was a home run to Sean Rodriguez in the seventh inning, but the game was already a blow out at that point so the solo shot meant nothing to the lefty or to the Yankees.

The Yankees passed their ultimate test today; they were able to knock around Price, who is the only legitimate starter on this club right now. Tomorrow evening, Hiroki Kuroda will face this anemic offense and Erik Bedard will pitch against the Yankees. Bedard has faced the Yankees many times and has not done a good job. The Yankees have won six of their last seven games, and will look to make it seven straight tomorrow night.

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