Swisher, Sabathia lead Yanks over Royals

Scranton offense bails out Aceves
How Nick got here

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.

Scranton offense bails out Aceves
How Nick got here
  • Rich

    Six degrees of separation (or something like that) on Swisher.

    • John

      aw you beat me to it…i was just about to post that. It’s cool how one decision can lead to something. even if its after 19 years.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        How about how Cash turned mistakes into good moves? On more than one occasion?

    • A.D.

      thats pretty awesome, when you throw in Justice helped them win a WS

      • Rich

        Plus Scott Proctor is the gift that keeps on giving. Something so right, yet something so wrong.

      • steve (different one)

        they also got a very solid 2002 season from Ventura.

    • anonymous

      awesome.

  • Harry G

    The bullpen the last 4 games:
    11.1 IP 2 H 1 R 1 ER 3 BB 13 K.

    But who’s gonna pitch teh 8th inning??!?1?1!??!!111??

    • anonymous

      CC

    • RollingWave

      part of it was thanks to the shadows in the game before this one though. everyone was whiffing like crazy on both sides.

  • A.D.

    Guess this Sabathia guy isn’t the sux0r after all

  • A.D.

    Only twice last year did Swisher have have 6+ hits in 3 games. Its looking like a much better year than last for Swish

  • Back to Glory

    Im going to try and construct this post to be as rational as possible, so as not be confused with those irrational yankee fans referred to in the main post who want to jump off the macombs dam bridge.

    I want to start by stating that after fat boy’s clunker against the O’s it was (and is) quite rational to say that the guy didn’t have (and still doesn’t have) what it takes to pitch in New York. For one, hes never pitched in a big game with the yankees and the first chance he gets he dive bombs against a crappy team. I do not know how rational it is to think he does when he HASNT DONE ANYTHING BUT PITCH ONE GAME WELL!!!! Something that I entirely expect on most nights, especially against the Royals.

    Secondly, I woudl argue that it is still quite rationale to say CC (aka chubby chump) still does not have what it takes to pitch in new york. He still hasn’t pitched well in any big game (the first one I would concede was his chance on opening day which was a joke) and will get his next chance on thursday at the stadium. One can start merely knitting the red carpet for his arrival if he puts in a solid outing on thursday however (in my mind anyway). Notice, that it shouldn’t be rolled out yet, if you get my drift.

    Finally, from a person who is calling yankee fans who thought that CC was a joke/waste/expletive deleted/etc. etc…after one game dive bombing against one of the leagues cellar teams (as I did for a full 5 days before today) as being “irrational” I would like one question answered. How rational is it to think “CC has arrived” after one stellar performance? By the way, does anyone see who they are beating up on right now? The KC Royals. Come on. CC has not arrived and I am out to defend every yankee fan like myself who feels that UNLESS and UNTIL chubby chumper pitches a stellar game at the stadium, at fenway, AND (thats right, im being daring and placing an “and” here because of all the cash hes getting for that house in Alpine) down the stretch against playoff teams, the guy has not arrived in any sense of the word. That assessment is not irrational either.

    For all those who want to hold yankee players to a higher level in the name of the greats who have actually delivered us rings – make your voices heard. I know I am. This team needs to win and win NOW!!!!

    BTG

    • Tom Zig

      CC still went out and took care of business. A win is a win is a win.

      • http://heavysoundsandtheabstracttruth.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/alg_burnett-sabathia-3.jpg Mike Pop

        It’s funny how he is arguing that he sucks because he hasn’t pitched in “big games”, and you haven’t even given him the chance to.

        You’re probably that guy who posted that comment, laid back in his reclining chair with your Brosius jersey while watching Yankeeography 1998 like Mondesi said.

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          (Contentedly twirling True Yankee Mustache)

          • Raf

            ietc (in true Yankee fan manner)

    • Stephen

      LOL

    • Rich

      How is the first game of any season “a big game with the Yankees” under any meaningful construction of the phrase? Nothing rises or falls on its outcome. Nothing takes place that cannot be ameliorated on a continuing basis over some portion of the next 161 games.

      Then you bizarrely claim that “[h]e still hasn’t pitched well in any big game.”

      Apparently, you are unwilling or unable to acknowledge that he showed incredible guts by pitching every four days for the Brewers in a pennant race, despite the risk it presented to his impending free agency. In so doing, he carried the Brewers on his back into the playoffs. The season before that he helped carry the Indians into the playoffs.

      So let me get this straight: Opening Day is a big game, but serial games that get your team into the playoffs aren’t big games.

      Wow, that’s world class illogical reasoning.

      CC, like every player who has ever worn the uniform, will ultimately be judged on one criterion: Did he win a WS, and how much did he contribute to that championship.

      Virtually everyone who posts on this blog (and certainly Ben, Mike, and Joe) fully understands that.

      In sum, your post is, to borrow a phrase, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

      • NaOH

        While I agree with Rich’s broad points here, I do disagree with one thing he wrote. Said Rich:

        “CC, like every player who has ever worn the uniform, will ultimately be judged on one criterion: Did he win a WS, and how much did he contribute to that championship.”

        Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I don’t judge players that way. Off the top of my head, the players who come to mind for me who did not win a championship in NY but whom I have a lot I respect for how they played are Mattingly, Winfield, Murcer and Alex Rodriguez.

        This touches on another point where I find I tend to diverge with friends who are Yankees fans: I don’t measure success for the team based on World Series victories. Yes, that is the aspiration, but that is not how I measure whether a season (or player’s career) is successful.

        • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

          i’ll add moose to that.

          • NaOH

            Like I said, they were names off the top of my head. But I would certainly agree with you about Mussina. In my opinion, he is easily the best free agent pitcher the team has ever signed.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I don’t judge players that way.

          I agree with you. Judging players on championships won is just silly.

        • Rich

          I thought about that after I posted it. Too many people employ the Ring Index standard, but you’re correct, it is unfair. I should have used more conditional language.

    • Jeff

      BTG,

      Lets not jump to conclusions and say CC is a failure just yet. I highly doubt many pitchers will have their A-game on their first start of the season. Also this is still an adjustment for him to learn his new coaches and teammates; in the past year he has had 3 different managers and pitching coaches and worked with 6+ different catchers.

      Two games is not a large enough sample to accurately judge the guy. Despite that this second start was a huge improvement. I happen to think he is selfless and really like his personality, the fact that he wants to stay out there and pitch until they have to pull him off the mound.

      If he gets wins against the Red Sox and Angels in the upcoming series then it is safe to say CC is the real deal.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      You can’t make one of the most irrational comments I’ve ever read on this site rational just by saying that it’s rational. It’s not. Rich dealt with why.

      I just ask this: Why do Yankee fans feel the need to hate the players that come to the Yanks if they don’t go 35-0 or hit 1.000/1.000/4.000? The fans do this with A-Rod, and know if BTG’s inanities are any representative comment, they’re doing it with CC because he had one bad start in April. Gain some perspective. It’s a little wonder why fans of other teams think Yankee are idiots.

    • whozat

      Guys, this comment is clearly for the more intelligent posters. The rest of us should probably just go back to rubbing copies of Excel all over our bodies while flagellating ourselves in our mama’s basements.

      BTG has clearly run rings around us logically.

      • steve (different one)

        IETC

    • pat

      I stopped reading after fat boy. If you can be that unoriginal and stupid two lines into your rant that doesn’t bode well for the rest.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        Yeah, this is a just a knee jerk guy who doesn’t want to admit that he’s a knee jerk.

        BTG-Tiny bit of advice. Look at a guys CAREER track record, not just ONE START before you make up your mind about him.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      In the words of Vincent Laguardia Gambini:

      “Everything that guy just said…is bullshit. Thank you.”

  • James

    *Facepalm*

    • James

      Whoops, meant to reply to BTG.

  • Jeff

    I’m really starting to like Swisher. I was a bit skeptical about him at first, but now I think he can be valuable to this team. I love the energy he is bringing to the team, I think that’s something the Yankees have missed in recent years, its like they had gotten too professional and forgot how to have fun. I think this Yankee team is a really good environment for him, there really isn’t any pressure on him to perform since he’s surrounded by so many great players.

    He needs to continue to force Girardi to give him playing time. It’s great to see him getting off to a hot start.

    His best seasons with the A’s were 2006 when he hit .254/.372/.493 with 95 RBI and 2007 when he hit .262/.381/.455 with 78 RBI. If he can get back to being close to the form he had those two years that would really help the team. Ideally I’d like to see him raise his average to at least .270 while keeping an OBP of at least .350 over the entire season. I just want to see him hit more as a Yankee, he’s too good a player not to hit .280 and walk a ton. Hopefully he can have a resurgence and find himself with the help of Kevin Long and his new surroundings.

    • whozat

      .270/.350 is markedly worse than .254/.272. Why would you want Swisher to be worse?

      • Jeff

        I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. I want Swisher to hit and play above his career averages and even the average of his best two seasons. There’s no reason he can’t play better than he has.

  • Angel

    i want vs Meche:

    Jeter SS
    Damon LF
    Tex DH(some resting)
    Nady RF
    Swisher 1b
    Cano 2b
    Melky CF
    Molina C
    Pena 3b

    • whozat

      Why is Gardner sitting against a righty?

      Also, Tex’s wrist does not impact his D. If he’s playing, he should be in the field. Nady has struggled against righties throughout his career; even in his “breakout” season, he was only OK against them…and you’ve got him batting cleanup? You want Matsui to sit? Ok, DH posada.

      Jeter
      Damon (though they might give him a day off tomorrow)
      Tex
      Posada
      Cano
      Swisher
      Ransom/Pena
      Molina
      Gardner

      If no Damon

      Jeter SS
      Swisher RF
      Tex 1B
      Posada DH
      Cano 2B
      Nady LF
      Ransom/Pena 3B
      Molina C
      Gardner CF

      • Spaceman.Spiff

        Gardner hasn’t been too hot lately with the bat and hasn’t really been drawing many walks. Not saying that his job is in danger but since Melky had a hot spring too, you might as well get him a start and see if he’s hotter at the moment as well. Melky hits righties better than lefties anyway so I don’t have a problem with him getting a start against Meche.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Since were dealing with a wrist, DHing Tex makes zero sense. Playing 1B is less stressful on your wrists than swinging a bat.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    Im interested to see the differences between CC’s release points from opening day and yesterday.

  • steve (different one)

    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.

    can we put this little story to bed already?

    people are reading WAY too much into something Girardi said 2 weeks before the season started.

    how could Girardi have been so locked into Nady if Swisher started playing after only TWO games??

    and yes, based on Spring Training, Nady actually deserved the Opening Day start. there is no rational way to say otherwise.

    but once Swisher came out and hit, Girardi INSTANTLY put him into the starting lineup.

    we should be CREDITING Girardi for the way he has managed his OFers so far, not making snarky references to a spring training comment Girardi made 3 weeks ago (this was from yesterday’s entry).

    that’s all. i guess my point is that i happen to think Girardi is playing this really well so far, so we should ackowledge that and give credit where due. not continue to be bitter b/c of who started on opening day.

    Swisher is going to play a lot. that much seems pretty obvious to me.

    • RichYF

      Agreed on Girardi’s management thus far.

      I was expecting to see Swish in RF “permanently” during this streak, but Tex’s wrist makes us appreciate his versatility.

      I also like the LIDR for Jeter. It hasn’t been necessary, but doing it now shows willingness and kind of gets the ball rolling in my opinion. This way, when a close game presents itself, it won’t be an absolute shocker to pull Jeets. Hopefully, anyway.

      I’d like to see Pena start for Ransom, but at this point there’s not much Girardi can do. Cash went with Ransom as the 3B while ARod is away, so I think Girardi has to stick with him (even if he doesn’t want to). Not that Girardi has to “bow” to Cash’s demands, but Pena is the defensive specialist and he really isn’t good enough offensively to earn a starting job at this stage in his career. So I think you grin and bear it for a few more weeks. Unless there’s a trade or signing to be made in which case you DFA Ransom ASAP and move forward.

      One thing from Girardi I’d like to see is a bit of lineup consistency and better placement. I think this will evolve over the course of the season, but Matsui is clearly not hitting well enough to be cleaning up. Last year Girardi changed the lineup everyday and it was really not the best approach either though, so I can at least appreciate what he’s attempting to do.

      • steve (different one)

        sure, but in Matsui’s case, you have 6 years of data that say he is better than he has been through just 4 games.

        i’m ok with dropping him when Teixeira is back in the lineup, but i thought it was fine last night.

        i don’t think i would mess with Cano right now by moving him up too soon.

        i liked Swisher hitting 3rd, his approach is very similar to Abreu’s, so it’s a pretty seemless transition. obviously this all changes once A-Rod and Teixeir are both in the lineup.

        the Yankees were without their 2 best players last night, and they ran out a lineup that wasn’t completely cringe-worthy. when is the last time you could say that? it’s as if (and yes, it’s still early) they traded Wilson Betemit for THREE All-Stars (Cano, Posada, and Swisher).

        gotta feel good about this team so far.

        • RichYF

          Agreed on all accounts.

          I feel great about the team thus far. Last night is one of the biggest reasons I’m not really in any rush to trade Nady. He’s not playing that well, but he gives this team some much needed depth. Couple that with Swisher’s versatility and you’ve got a really solid bench. Melky Cabrera was a starter last year. That says a LOT about our bench and the team’s improvement over last year. Melky hasn’t even sniffed a serious at-bat yet and I doubt he will in this uniform.

          I agree on Matsui. He looked great on the double, but he’s looked really uncomfortable at the plate thus far. Very tentative and awkward. He’s not putting in good at-bats either. History says he’ll turn it around. Hopefully that hit pushes him in the right direction, because we are going to need him this year. If he plays to his baseball card, our lineup is that much stronger. If his knees give out, then we’re going to have to replace his bat before the deadline, no doubt about it.

          Having Jorge back and having Canoe looking like he knows how to play baseball again is ridiculous. They both look like they’re on a mission, and it’s awesome.

          The lineup has so many potentially great bats that someone is going to suffer. Tex, ARod, Posada, Matsui, Swisher, Canoe, (Nady). Someone has to bat 8th. Not the worst problem to have.

  • Reggie C.

    These kind of wins aren’t going to be the rule when both A-rod and Teixeira are not in the lineup. Its simply not something i want to get accustomed to seeing.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Well pitched games are the exception? That’s not how they built this team. This team is designed to win exactly the type of games we saw the past few days.

      The drop off between Tex and Swish isn’t huge, we can manage without Tex for a few days as long as we keep pitching.

      • RichYF

        Agreed.

        In the past this team won by having a “potent lineup.” This year, the starting pitching should carry us when the bats struggle and then some. At least, that’s the plan.

        Last year, Wang (pre-injury), Pettitte (pre-ASB), Joba (in the rotation) and Moose (all year) really carried the team. They just didn’t get to pitch enough due to unforeseen circumstances. When Rasner, Snacks Pontoon, etc. starting pitching on a constant basis, that’s when the offense simply couldn’t keep up.

      • steve (different one)

        yeah, if CC makes that kind of start, you could put me in the lineup and you’d be ok…

  • Jake H

    I’m really liking Swish.

  • Roman

    Nick Swisher’s breakout season is underway:)

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Huh? I think it’s safe to say ’06 was his breakout year when he hit 35 jacks and had a .368 wOBA.

  • mike

    wow – see the lineup as per Pete Abe?…….looks like the Sisters of the Poor are being given a shot today.

    Makes me cry when for $200mm + a Molina/Ransom/Melky/Gardiner lineup is possible.

    Also – please tell Girardi that Gardiner leading off…….not so much

  • Back to Glory

    WHOA WHOA. I am not saying that CC sucks. The calling him names was to make the point that I am not on the bandwagon that people are jumping on when they say the guy has arrived.

    I also do not HATE any yankee players. I only refuse to say that these guys deserve any more credit than they deserve. When a guy like CC comes to the yanks with high expectations, that is to be expected, after all he is the best pitcher out there. However, I am judging him on the Ynkaee scle that myself and all fans like me judge all our players on. This leads me to the point that big games for the Brewers (as rich is prepared to say are “big games”) are not BIG GAMES as the word is understood in yankee land or on the yankee scale that I am referring to. The guy has done nothing in big games or on the big stage. If opening day is not abig game, as I may concede to Rich and his followers, then it is certainly the big stage. It is the first look that all of new york can give to this guy in any meaningful way. With that being said, he SUCKED. Because of that, it underscores the reason why he doesnt deserve any more resepct than he deserves. Furthermore, the same can be said when he pitches a grat game against the Royals. It is the Royals Folks!!!! they are not good and I woudl hope that he woudl light teams like that all year. We did not get this guy to pitch well against the royals. Phil Coke can do that also. We got him to win games that other pitchers would not necessarily be as a sure thing to win, i.e. The angels, red soz, rays, any october start. HE HAS NOT ARRIVED IN ANY SENSE OF THE WORD IN MY OPINION UNLESS AND UNTIL HE DOES THOSE THINGS.

    To the pot shots at me and my post. Everythign I said seems pretty rational to me Ben, and although me saying it being rational doesnt make it so, it is certainly a sensical thing to say that a 161 million dollar pitcher is expected to pitch well against the O’s and the ROyals and he onoy came through in one of those starts. Granted it does not mean he sucks, and I never said that, but it certainly does not mean he has arriaved. If you think the guy has arriaved, than you are forgetting the reason why we got him – to win a ring. Be patient before you make statements implying that this guy is great, lets all relax until they show us something and enjoy the games along the way.

    To Rich. Some of your comments make sense but im just operating on a different level. Big games with the brewers are nto big games with theyankees and doing one does not mean he will do it again in the bronx. Simple as that.

    And just for the record, if we all start thinking more about 1998 and watching those guys play we woudl realize that this team is way off that team’s level. Even if we never see a tyeam like that again, we can still want our team to strive and be that good. To think it is insulting to say that I sit around an and live in the past watching Brosius all day and the 1998 yankeeographys dreaming of those days to come back is a joke. It just shows the world where those posters who think that is bad are living in. They are living in a world where the yankees are exactly what they are – mediocre team with players that have not proven themselves. That is not me and im proud of that.

    Again, holdin the team to ahigher level is what we shoudl do. Not give credit to aguy who has done nothing yet.

    BTG