CC on the money again as Yanks complete sweep

Brandon Laird's big day
Mailbag: Montero, Jeter, Injuries, Stats, Mets

Every five days the Yankees have one of the top five pitchers in the league take the mound for them. It’s not only a great feeling, but after the pitching drought of 2004 through 2008 it is a privileged feeling. Sabathia again worked his magic, holding the A’s to just one hit in eight innings. That was easily enough for the Yankees to win this game and complete their second straight sweep of the A’s.

Biggest Hits: Yard

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Did the Yankees players really care about Dallas Braden’s antics in April? Even if they did then I doubt they do now. We’re months removed from the incident. Even if it had happened yesterday, it’s still just a pitcher who embarrassed himself by acting like a clown over some nonsensical unwritten rule that many former players can’t even recall. So whatever. Maybe the Yanks wanted to pound the kid more than usual. Maybe they just approached the game like they would any other game.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Braden did pitch well through five innings, allowing just one run on two hits and two walks while striking out four. The one run came in the second when Braden made a big mistake to Jorge Posada. Gameday lists it as a sinker at 83 mph, and it was right down the middle. Jorge blasted it to the biggest part of the park, but it went out anyway. That was the only run they’d actually need, but in the second inning you always want to tack on. The Yanks wold have to wait three more innings for that to happen.

Curtis Granderson was supposed to get the day off, but Nick Swisher went and injured his knee in the first. That set up Granderson to face a lefty. He grounded out on the first pitch in his first trip, but the second Braden-Granderson meeting got cut short. Braden appeared a little uncomfortable after delivering a pitch and had to leave the game. A’s manager Bob Geren opted to go with another lefty, Jerry Blevins, as his replacement. He started off well, picking Derek Jeter off first. But his at-bat against Granderson got a bit drawn out.

On the seventh pitch Blevins dealt a fastball belt high inside, and Granderson crushed it to double the Yanks’ lead. He came up again the next inning, this time with a runner on first and two outs. The righty Mike Wuertz got a called strike on the outside corner, but then came in with his third best pitch, a changeup. Wuertz, as you might recall, has a nasty slider that he normally throws more than half the time. He didn’t go there this time, and Granderson punished a high, inside pitch for his second homer of the game. That again doubled the lead, which was in good hands with CC on the mound.

Biggest Pitch: CC stifles the threats

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

It’s hard to believe given the game’s result, but this game wasn’t as well at hand in the early innings. The Yanks weren’t putting many men on base, and when they were they weren’t advancing them. They had the lead and their ace was on the mound, but even an ace gives up runs here and there. The A’s had some opportunities, but Sabathia gave them nothing.

In the third the A’s had their first chance to get on the board. Posada had an easy play to get Cliff Pennington on his way to first, but he made a terrible throw that got far enough away that Pennington could take second. Coco Crisp advanced him to third on an out, giving the A’s a chance to tie the game without a hit. It was up to Rajai Davis. That should tell the entire story. He swung at the first pitch, a slider breaking towards him, and popped it up to the first base side. Kurt Suzuki then struck out, leaving Pennington standing on third.

The A’s went quietly in the fourth, but then finally got a runner on base again in the fifth. Landon Powell walked with one out. It might not seem like a big deal, but considering Sabathia had allowed just two balls to reach the outfield at that point it was relatively significant. That brought Pennington back to the plate. He quickly fell behind 0-2 and then grounded a slider right to Eduardo Nunez. It went around the horn and ended the inning.


In case you missed it between the game and now, Swisher hurt his knee and is day to day.

The outfielders had a boring day. Sabathia allowed just three balls to reach them all day. Albaladejo gave them a reprieve in the ninth when he induced two fly outs, one to left and one to right. No Yankee center fielder touched the ball yesterday.

Granderson went 1 for 2 with a homer against lefties. That was his 31st hit in 137 PA against left-handed pitching this year. Last year he had 33 hits in 199 PA against LHP. Last year he hit .183/.245/.239. This year he’s hitting .246/.285/.365. That’s not great — not good, even — but an unquestionable improvement. Since the swing tweaks he’s hitting .288/.366/.603.

You know who else has been on a little tear? Jorge Posada. He’s 17 for his last 50 (.340) with eight walks (.450 OBP) and eight extra base hits (.680 SLG).

CC Sabathia certainly is making a Cy Young push. With yesterday’s performance he lowered his ERA to 3.02 and his FIP to 3.54. He also crossed the 200-inning mark for the fourth consecutive season. The fewest number of innings he has pitched in a season is 180, when he was a 20-year-old rookie.

Graph and box

More at FanGraphs. The box score, too, looks pretty.

Up Next

Day Game 2 of 5 tomorrow afternoon as Brandon Morrow makes his final start of the 2010 season. Ivan Nova goes for the Yanks.

Brandon Laird's big day
Mailbag: Montero, Jeter, Injuries, Stats, Mets
  • Gary Sanchez

    Nova and Morrow is going to be a fun game, I bet.

  • Apollo22237

    That is a pretty funny Sabathia picture.

  • Jamal G.

    Every five days the Yankees have one of the top five pitchers in the league Major League Baseball take the mound for them.

    No need to be modest.

    • Jerome S

      one the top five pitchers in the galaxy? too far?

      • CBean

        It is a Yankee Universe

  • Carlosologist

    My friends and I saw this game at my place. It was delightful to see a Red Sox fan squirm while watching the Yanks rip the A’s a new one (they call this schadenfreude, no?).

    • Brian in NH

      I missed those days. from 2004-2008 sox fans got insufferable. Now that order is restored in the universe and sox fans have to tolerate seasons of failure and squandered opportunity and bad luck again I am happy.

  • Dela G

    no one will be more excited to not see morrow until 2011 than i will be

    that guy has been a huge thorn in the yanks’ side

    *although the yanks beat him at the stadium earlier in the season…

    • Mike Axisa

      Without looking, I’m pretty sure Morrow as a considerable homer/road split.

      • JGS

        Home: 2.79 ERA, 1.098 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, 2.63 BB/9, 4.04 K/BB
        Away: 6.31 ERA, 1.679 WHIP, 11.3 K/9, 5.72 BB/9, 1.97 K/BB

        • BigBlueAL

          Somewhat surprising because isnt Rogers Centre every year a pretty favorable hitter’s park??

        • JGS

          It should also be noted,

          Home BABIP–.316
          Away BABIP–.373

          • drill me deep

            the norm in this case is , 340-350?

            • JGS

              Nope–those are both kinda high, the second one absurdly so. Pitcher BABIP is usually around .300. Morrow’s career BABIP is .307

              • drill me deep

                correct me if i am wrong. If you take Safeco into consideration. do home ballpark come into consideration when regard one’s career norm in BABIP?
                would you adjust that norm in light of Roger Centre?
                either way, that is still an absurdly high BABIP on the road which partially explains his terrible split. The question is then why? limited sample anomaly?

          • drill me deep

            one hypothesis is Morrow gives up lot of infield hits that turns into out on the astroturf.

            second, he gives up lots cheap bloopers that is caught at Roger due to it’s relative small confines . OFers are able to playing shallow thus catching some of the bloopers.

            third, due to close enclosure of roger centre, Morrow gains better command and control of his repertoire.

            fourth. HE HATES AMERICAN STADIUMS ! yes i realize he is Californian.

        • Dela G

          holy cow, that is incredible seeing that he pitches in a hitter’s park!

          i would’ve never guessed this to be the fact

          well i hope the yanks pound him

      • Brad Toughy

        Home ERA 2.74
        Road ERA 6.31

        Home FIP 2.43
        Road FIP 4.13

        Home xFIP 3.17
        Road xFIP 4.21

  • drill me deep

    that’s a pretty big fucking disparity ! personally, I like to see the big Puma to go deep tom. The dude seem have a great personality and was a beast in the past. I believe he can still rake against righties big time. maybe KL can work on Puma’s lower body mechanism , he seem to mainly use his upper body to generate torque. either way, the money is on puma to do some sweet drilling tom!

    • Mike Axisa

      Use the reply button. Make the conversation a whole lot easier to follow. Thanks.

      • drill me deep

        will do, relatively new here. please forgive my oversight.

        • Betty Lizard

          I Share your hopes for Berkman, Love him and just hope he makes a monster contribution the rest of the year.

          • Betty Lizard

            Jeez, I cannot punctuate this morning. That looks like a ransom note with its random caps.

  • Marc

    I love the part of the season where the ‘magic number’ counter gets added. Hooray!

    On a side note, is there a way you could add a module on the right hand side that says the next games date and time(and possibly who they are playing)? I hate having to go to another website to find out the games time. It’d be sexy if it was right there on the main page. Thanks for the great site and hard work guys!

    • andrew

      Good idea. A little game preview… date, time, pitching matchups… who knows.

  • YankeesJunkieinMadrid

    CC has been in straight beast mode ever since his off starts in May. Even though he out pitching his FIP and xFIP those are still both well below 4 and after this start his WAR should be at 4. Also it is amazing to think that in the 68 starts (post season included) since he became a Yankee he has gone 41-14, 3.25 ERA, 10+ WAR, and 468.1 IP!!!! CC has been straight money in the bank for the Yankees.

  • Brian in NH

    Still think that there may be others more deserving of the Cy but CC is certainly strengthening his case for it. Hitting that magical 20 win mark could ensure he’s getting a few first place votes. Although you wonder if there will be any anti-yankee bias against him. I just feel like the national media and regional coverage just all hates the yankees.

  • Brian in NH

    Is Morrow a Changeup guy?

    • Big Juan

      Hard fastball, nasty slider.

      • pat

        Throws a curve and change too, about as much as the slider. They’re not as effective though.

  • Ross in Jersey

    That picture makes CC look like a big ‘ol bear. I love it. I’m glad Joe chose to took him out yesterday, no need to push the big guy when it isn’t needed.

    I love Granderson, because I feel like he’s finally paying me back for all the times I defended him against stupid fans who crapped on the trade relentlessly all spring and summer. I can’t wait for him to have a big playoff moment.

    • Klemy

      I’m with you there. I really hope he brings this recent streak through to the post season.