CC stellar as Yanks grab Game 1



Despite protestations from the Angels, Mark Teixeira‘s foot was clearly on the bag when Torii Hunter was called out in the sixth inning.

Eight innings. Four hits. One run. Seven strike outs. That’s pure dominance from the Yanks’ Big Man, and that’s why they’re paying him the big bucks.

When the Yankees signed CC Sabathia this winter, a few analysts questioned Sabathia’s role on the Yanks. He didn’t throw particularly well against the Yanks in the 2007 ALDS and did worse against the Red Sox in the ALCS. Could the Yanks lean on Sabathia to carry them through an October run if he hadn’t yet enjoyed much October success?

Last week against the Twins, Sabathia didn’t have his best stuff and still walked away a winner. On Friday, amidst some brutal cold, a bit of a drizzle and a powerful wind that in the words of Johnny Damon was “playing havoc” out there, CC stifled the Angels. He threw 113 pitches in eight innings and just 37 were out of the strike zone. He recorded 11 outs on the ground, seven by the K and just six in the air. That is dominance.

“CC’s been doing that all year for us,” Derek Jeter said after the game. “He did in the first round and he did it tonight.”

The Angels, meanwhile, didn’t play their generally solid game. They made three errors and let an easy two-out pop up fall for an RBI hit. The Yanks capitalized and walked away 4-1 winners. They are now just three wins away from a World Series berth.

The Yanks got off on the right foot in the first inning. Derek Jeter knocked out yet another first inning single, and Johnny Damon moved him to third with a base knock of his own. Damon advanced to second on an error, and with no outs, the Yanks were primed for a big inning. Mark Teixiera took a 3-0 hack and popped out. Although A-Rod drove in a run with a sac fly, the Yanks were left with a runner on second and two outs when Hideki Matsui lifted a lazy pop up right to third base. Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins couldn’t figure out which Angel would catch though, and it landed with a thud on the infield dirt. Damon scored, and the Yanks had all the runs they would need.

As the game progress, the Angels toyed with disaster all night, but the Yankees couldn’t capitalize. The Yanks put two runners on the third, two on in the fourth, three in the fifth and three in the sixth, but the offense could plate just two of those runners. They left 11 men on base and went just 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position. The Yanks could have had more but for a play at the plate involving — who but? — Alex Rodriguez.

With two on in the fifth, Hideki Matsui doubled to left center, and Juan Rivera tumbled over himself trying to field it. Rob Thomson originally waved A-Rod on but threw up a stop sign too late for Alex to see it. Rodriguez headed home, but the thrown beat him. Although replays showed no tag, A-Rod was out as he bowled into Jeff Mathis. In another era, he would have been the goat, but tonight, the Yanks didn’t need the run.

In the sixth, they would add a fourth run, but why bother? CC just kept on rolling. He ran into one bit of trouble in the fourth when a Vladimir Guerrero double and a Kendry Morales single led to a run, but that would be all. He struck out Mike Napoli to end the 7th and pumped his fist emphatically as the crowd roared. “The stadium was rocking,” Sabathia said. “I was pretty pumped up.”

At just 98 pitches through seven, Sabathia went out for the 8th, and he served as his own Bridge to Mowhere. One-two-three went the Angels in the 8th and in came Rivera for the 9th. He walked Torii Hunter on four pitches, and Tim McCarver began predicting boom. But Mo was Mo was Mo. Vladimir Guerrero struck out; Juan Rivera flew out; and Kendry Morales followed suit.

As the strains of Frank Sinatra filled the air, Yankee fans left a very cold Yankee Stadium, quite pleased with their ace and enjoying the 1-0 lead in this best of seven ALCS. CC was every bit the ace the Yankees wanted and needed for this year, and the team stands just three wins away from a World Series appearance.

For a similar but different take on the Yanks’ Game 1 win over the Angels, check out my YESNetwork.com recap.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. “This new guy”

    Girardi genius.

    The actual new guy (CC)? Pure. Utter. Domination. Remember when he couldn’t pitch in the postseason? Yeah, me neither.

  2. Zack says:

    At no point tonight did I feel nervous when the ball was in CC’s hand, it feels nice to have a real ace on your team.

  3. DSFC says:

    It’s been a long time since the Yankees got a postseason pitching performance like that. A very long time……on a brutal night, no less. Huge game, since Lackey was clearly the Angels’ best shot. The Yankees should hammer Saunders in Game 2.

  4. Drew says:

    Total domination.

  5. PaulF says:

    Prediction: Molina will get a hit tomorrow

  6. Sleepy Carl says:

    “CC wasn’t dominate, he just got the job done.” A nice breakdown by MLB network guys.

  7. DSFC says:

    Oh, and one more thing – now that CC has won both of his playoff starts, the writers/TV talking heads/announcers should finally can the “Sabathia struggles in the playoffs” line.

    • whozat says:

      But…the narrative can’t CHANGE!

      The media decides what the narrative is, before the events happen, and then ignore any factors that contradict said narrative.

      The angels are speedy, play the game right, and their aggressive base running scores them RUNS. The Yankees are a plodding bunch of sluggers who only score when the opposing pitcher makes mistakes and walks them, or the weather causes their opponents to fuck up and hand them the game.

  8. Chris says:

    36% of the way to #27.

    I do enjoy the fact that not only did Melky walk twice, he also forced 2 Angel errors. In the same inning, no less.

  9. MikeD says:

    Joe Magrane on MLB Network. He must be their Joe Morgan or Joe Buck. The guy who is there to throw in stupid comments.

  10. Ivan says:

    CC was just nasty tonight and showed why he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball and got the big pay day. Just a terrific performance.

    Right now I feel oh so confident with this yankee team. I haven’t felt this confident about a yankee team like this since how long.

  11. Salty Buggah says:

    Of course, the ESPN guys show Guerrero’s double and say how the wind knocked it down and how 99 out of 100 times it would be run (so they’re trying to say Angels got unlucky even though he scored anyway) and fail to show Cano’s flyout that would also be a HR.

  12. Tank the Frank says:

    I was at the game tonight and I just want to say: CC!! CC! CC!
    The place was booming for such a nasty night. As great as CC said it was to hear his name chanted, it was even better yelling it out. I had nothing but confidence that he would get it done. He had such a quiet confidence on the mound, and it was awesome to see it erupt all of a sudden late in the game.

    F*ck the Angels. This is our year.

  13. Salty Buggah says:

    Nice recap on YES Ben.

  14. mustang says:

    Coat, gloves, hooded sweatshirt, turtleneck and I still froze my ass off.
    Watching the Yanks win the first ever ALCS game at the New Stadium.

    • JMK aka The Overshare says:

      It’s cold but it’s not that cold. Jeez, did you grow up in Death Valley?

      • Mike HC says:

        Exactly. It really was not that cold. CC said something like, “that is as cold as it gets.” And I’m like, no, that is not as cold as it gets. It can get much colder. It was cold out, but lets not act like it was a frozen tundra out there. I think it was in the mid 40′s actually. I thought Cano looked ridiculous with his survival head gear. Even the ear flaps were pushing it in my opinion. I’m happy Jeter and CC went out there with a cap and nothing else.

        • I thought Cano looked ridiculous glorious with his survival ninja head gear.

          Totally agreed.

        • mustang says:

          “Even the ear flaps were pushing it in my opinion.”
          Tex didn’t agree.

          ” I’m happy Jeter and CC went out there with a cap and nothing else.”

          CC was constantly moving as the pitcher and Jeter grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
          But yes they should be given The North Face players of the game award.

      • mustang says:

        I was in Sec. 414 and there must be a lot of us who “grow up in Death Valley” because everyone was complaining that they were cold.
        Were you at the game in the 400 sec?

        The $10 Hot chocolate was selling fast so that should tell you something right there.

  15. Esteban says:

    Aww the Angels fans over at Halos Heaven are cute, thinking they have chance and all. It’s adorable.

  16. patp says:

    Love that the Rod tried to truckstick Mathis.

  17. Salty Buggah says:

    Two interesting facts:

    • Friday’s performance made Sabathia the first Yankees pitcher since Orlando Hernandez in 1998 to allow one earned run or fewer in his first two postseason starts with the team.

    • Alex Rodriguez extended his streak of postseason games with an RBI to five.

    Had it really been THAT long since we got 2 straight great performances? Damn!

    And that’s great for Alex. I hope the streak continues.

  18. Salty Buggah says:

    That picture is great. I hope some Angels fans/trolls see it so they dont complain.

    • DSFC says:

      Someone should let McCarver know, too, since he wouldn’t shut up about it. “Torii Hunter had the best view of anyone on the field….”

  19. BigBlueAL says:

    Great win, lets hope they can get Game 2 in tomorrow (or rather later tonight) so it wont ruin the CC in Games 4 and 7 plan.

  20. Steve says:

    LOVE this picture!

    Ben, caption typo: “Despite protestations from the Angels, Mark Teixeira’s foot was clearly foot was clearly on the bag when Torii Hunter was called out in the sixth inning.”

    • donttradecano says:

      just for added emphasis.

    • IvanS says:

      ALSO despite Tim McCarver’s incessant protests. He and Joe Morgan must be the same person. The replay could be hitting them in the face 20 times over with the obvious proof that Teixeira was on the base but he’ll ignore it because he called the runner safe at first.

      I rewinded the DVR to watch the play frame by frame. Tex had the foot on the bag for at least 8 frames, that’s over 1/4 of a second, after he caught the ball.

  21. [...] the rest here: CC stellar as Yanks grab Game 1 | River Avenue Blues Categories: Uncategorized Tags: from-the-yanks, hits, paying-him, pure-dominance, sabathia, [...]

  22. Count Zero says:

    Ended up going and had a great view of CC’s dominance from the Beam suite directly behind home plate in row 1. Walking out of the park folks were chanting: “CC – CC”

  23. CC Sabathia is worth every penny as he gave the Yankees a deserving win against the Angels. Not only did he brutalize the running game of the Angels but he managed to rest the arms of the Yankees bullpen by stretching his innings to eight. We should consider CC to start in Game 4 and possibly Game 7.

  24. SS says:

    Not to rain on the parade, since CC was truly awesome last night, but wouldn’t it have been a good idea to pull CC after 6 or 7 innings, especially since he’ll be pitching game 4 on three days rest?

    • steve (different) says:

      the Angels would have been absolutely thrilled with that decision. that tells me it’s probably not a good one.

      why give them any chance to get back into the game? every single win is crucial, don’t get cute trying to “save” 20 pitches on CC’s arm.

  25. But Eric Karros told me that CC wasn’t the type of pitcher who could dominate!

  26. donttradecano says:

    off topic, but how do you access RAB moblie from a phone? this one loads all sloppy.

  27. Philly P says:

    Went to the game last night and it was awesome sitting with the bleacher creatures. For those who watched at home how bad were the infamous duo of McCarver and Joe Fuck?

    • p2 says:

      McCarver went on and on about Tex’s foot being off the bag in the 6th (photo above). It was disgusting. He wouldn’t shut up about it. He must have something for the Angels. He couldn’t stop talking about how goos they are. And how great Sciosca is.

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