It was like a second Opening Day. A month after the Yankees kicked off their season against the Orioles, they were back in Baltimore with the same two pitchers on the mound, but with one major difference: the Yanks had their third baseman back, and it wouldn’t be long before he made an impact. After back-to-back walks to Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira in the first, Alex Rodriguez turned on the first pitch he saw this season and drove it into the left field seats for a no-doubt homer. A-Rod put his stamp on the game right away, and reminded everyone what the team was missing.
Alex’s moment in the spotlight would be short lived though, because CC Sabathia took the game over once he got on the mound. Brian Roberts and Adam Jones led the game off with a pair of singles, but after that CC went to work. He retired twenty-three of the next twenty-four hitters he faced, striking out the last three batters of the night with authority. He cruised to a much needed win that gave the bullpen a night off, and the fanbase a reason to step back from the ledge. With the Yanks having lost their last four games, Sabathia’s effort was just what the doctor ordered. Ken Singleton said it best, it wasn’t just a performance to stop a losing streak, it was a performance to start a winning streak. It was the Yanks’ first complete game shutout win since this Chien-Ming Wang gem back in 2006.
Francisco Cervelli also made his presence known in his second career big league start behind the plate. He made a great throw to gun down Adam Jones at second in the first, laid down the best sac bunt of the Yanks’ season in the second, and picked up his first career hit in the fourth. He also handled Sabathia as if the two had been battery mates for years. The Yanks are just looking to keep their heads above water behind the dish while Jorge Posada and Jose Molina are on the DL, and they had to be encouraged by what they say out of Frankie tonight.
The Yanks send Phil Hughes to the mound tomorrow night, and they have a chance to continue their winning ways against Adam Eaton, who somehow is still in the league.