Coming into this weekend’s series, I was hoping for at least a split even though just one win would have guaranteed that the Yanks remained in first place come Monday. After Thursday’s offensive orgy and Friday’s epic 2-0 marathon win, the Yanks took care of business in a much more professional manner in Saturday’s matinee.
It all started where it should, with the guy on the mound. CC Sabathia came out shoving mid-to-high 90’s heat backed by a knockout slider and a changeup that appeared to stop in midair. Working on a perfect game into the fifth and no-hitter into the sixth, Sabathia didn’t run into any real trouble until the seventh, when Victor Martinez walked and Kevin Youkilis singled to open the inning. A strikeout by corpse of David Ortiz and a GIDP later, the threat was neutralized. Sabathia was everything the Yanks could have hoped for yesterday, striking out nine against two hits, firing 123 pitches to record the first 23 outs of the game. He was simply awesome.
The Yanks’ bats looked predictably flat following the 15-inning affair that ended just 15 hours prior to first pitch, but they gave Sabathia all the cushion he would need. Mark Teixeira singled in Melky Cabrera in the third for a quick 1-0 lead, then Jose Molina tacked on an insurance run with a sixth inning sac fly. A third run came in when Nick Swisher looked too happy taking a bases loaded walk to pass the baton in seventh, and the Cap’n capped everything off with a two run jack in the eighth. It traveled the bare minimum to right, clanking off the very bottom of the foul pole.
Think of this series as a market correction. The Red Sox weren’t going to beat the Yankees all 18 times they played this year, it just wasn’t going to happen. It’s been a long, long time since we could say the Yanks have won back to back games against Boston because of their pitching, but that’s exactly what happened. The Sawx have managed just eight hits over their last 24 innings, none for extra bases, and just four by people not named Jacoby Ellsbury. It all adds up to a 5.5 game lead in the division with eight weeks to go.
The Series wraps up tomorrow and will be a smashing success regardless of what happens. Andy Pettitte takes on Jon Lester in ESPN’s Sunday Night Game. Not even Joe Morgan can ruin what went down over the last three days.