Five days ago, some unreasonable Yankee fans were ready to jump off of the Macombs Dam Bridge. CC Sabathia, earning $23 million a year, had just thrown a clunker against the Orioles, and doubts about his ability to pitch for the Yanks were infesting the minds of those irrational Yankee fans.
Tonight, Sabathia answered those critics and more. He threw 7.2 strong innings, scattering just six hits. While he hit two batters, he walked no one and struck out six. His 2009 ERA dropped from 12.46 to 4.50, and he looked every bit the ace as the Yanks downed the Royals 6-1.
For the evening, Sabathia was just dominant. He averaged 94 miles per hour with his fastball and nearly hit 97, according to Gameday. He mixed in a bunch of change ups and some excellent sliders to keep the Royals’ hitters off balance all night. Exhale, Yankee fans. CC Sabathia has arrived. His next start, of course, will be heavily scrutinized as it will be the first regular season game at the new Yankee Stadium, but with tonight’s outing, he earned the honors, heating pad and all.
Offensively, the night — and season — belonged to Nick Swisher. We love Nick around here. We advocated for him to earn the start job over Xavier Nady during Spring Training, and while Joe Girardi wouldn’t grant him that honor, he’s done nothing but hit his way into the lineup since Opening Day.
Tonight, Swisher went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and 2 walks. He launched a triple early on and homered in the fifth to plate the final two Yankee runs of the night. On the young season, Swisher is 7 for 13 with a team-leading two home runs and nine RBI. Six of his seven hits have been for extra bases, and Girardi will keep finding a way to get Swisher those ABs. He’s more than earned it, and the Yanks are undefeated with Swisher in the lineup.
For the Yanks, that was about it. Jorge Posada drove in two more runs. Xavier Nady, feeling the heat from Swisher, knocked out two hits, and the Yanks played a crisp, clean game against a team they should beat. With Gil Meche on top for Sunday, the Yanks have won the series, and all is right with in Yankee Universe.
Mark Teixeira Injury Update
Word out of the Yankee clubhouse this evening is that Mark Teixeira is suffering from tendinitis in his right wrist. He will play on Sunday as the Yanks face Meche, a righthander. Hopefully, this injury will not linger, and he’ll be in to face lefties soon enough. The Star-Ledger had a little more about the injury. It doesn’t sound too serious.