Sabathia strikes out 13 as Yanks complete sweep

Montero homers, but boredom leads to SWB loss
Mailbag: Cameron, Prince, Montero, Banuelos

There are times in this game when you don’t have to do anything more than sit back and enjoy it No stress, no concern about who is and who isn’t hitting, no looking ahead to bullpen machinations, nothing like that. Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the Brewers was one of those games, and all because of the guy on the bump.

I think we know to answer to the question in the scouting report.

The Big Man’s Big Day

We’ve seen CC Sabathia do some great things on the mound over the last two and half years, but we’ve never seen him do what he did in this game. Sabathia tied a career high with 13 strikeouts, topping his previous high in pinstripes by three. It was the first time a Yankees’ pitcher struck out 13 batters in a game since Roger Clemens in 2002, and it was the most strikeouts by a Yankees’ lefty since David Wells in 1998. All 13 strike threes were swinging, part of a season high 22 swings and misses generated by Sabathia. Seven of those strikeouts came on sliders. Over his last two starts, CC has struck out 22 and walked just three in 15.2 IP.

Only one Brewer managed to make it as far as third base against the Yankees ace, who retired 16 of the last 19 batters he faced. Carlos Gomez, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Mat Gamel, and George Kottaras each whiffed twice while Rickie Weeks wore the sombrero with three strikeouts. Sabathia raised his season strikeout rate from 6.6 to 7.4 K/9 in his last two starts and from 6.9 to 7.4 in this game alone. By my calculation, he went from a 2.81 FIP and 3.4 WAR to 2.66 and 4.0 with this start, respectively. Bravo CC, bravo.

Hopefully there are many more to come.

Number 300

Oh by the way, Mark Teixeira hit his 300th career homerun in this game, a quiet milestone. Easy to overlook that given Sabathia’s effort. The milestone blast came in the third inning, a leadoff shot off a Randy Wolf fastball in a 2-1 count. Security retrieved the ball, and in exchange Tex will have to give the guy who caught it a signed bat, a signed ball, and take a picture with him during batting practice at some point in the future. Not a bad haul.

The homer gave the Yankees a cushy three run lead, and just about a third of those 300 homers have come in pinstripes (97 to be exact). Teixeira currently leads the majors with 25 homers, and he’s just the eighth switch-hitter to go deep 300 times in his career. That’s not a bad group to be in, with guys like Mickey Mantle, Lance Berkman, and Chipper Jones.

What, no stat for whether or not the game was managable? (Photo via Ben Kabak)


The Yankees took the lead right in the very first inning, when Robinson Cano laced an opposite field double to drive in both Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher. Those two had walked to lead off the inning. Frankie Cervelli drove in a run with a bloop single in the third to make it four-zip, then they tacked on a garbage time run in the eighth. Frankie had three hits on the day, the only Yankee with more than one. Swisher and Andruw Jones each had a single and walk, Gardner just a walk. The Yankees stole three bases before Wolf recorded an out (Gardner stole second after the walk, then he and Swisher pulled off a double steal). Overall, it was a fine day for the offense.

Back when John Axford was bouncing between four levels in the Yankees farm system back in 2007, we (ahem) all knew that he’d one day pitch in Yankee Stadium. Today was that day. Milwaukee had to bring their closer into the game in the eighth inning just to get him some work in, which is one of my favorite things to watch. It’s always good when the other team can’t use their ninth inning guy until garbage time in the final game of a series. Axford allowed a run in his inning of work.

Boone Logan struck out Prince to end the eighth, though it wasn’t the prettiest at-bat. Fielder crushed several balls foul before Logan tied him up with a fastball inside. Luis Ayala got three ground balls on eight pitches in a flawless ninth inning.

The win gave the Yankees the sweep over the Brewers, their sixth consecutive series win and ninth in their last ten series. It was also their fifth win a row, a new season high. They’ve won nine of their last 11 games, 12 of their last 15, and 15 of their last 19. Since that six game losing streak in mid-May, the Yankees are 27-12, the best record in baseball. Yippee.

WPA Graph & Box Score has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the other stuff.

Up Next

Wooo Subway Series! The Yankees and Mets get together for the second and (thankfully) final engagement of the 2011 Subway Series on Friday night at CitiField. Ivan Nova will get the party started against Jonathan Niese. RAB Tickets can get you there dirt cheap.

Montero homers, but boredom leads to SWB loss
Mailbag: Cameron, Prince, Montero, Banuelos
  • Xstar7

    Great win. Now let’s go knock the Mets down a peg.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    CC was beast all day, and congrats to Tex on #300. Too bad we won’t get to watch CC hit again.

    • boogie down

      We will, man, we will. Only a few months away.

      • Pat D

        You expect the World Series to go 5 games?

        /best case scenario’d

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        What are you talking about? The Red Sox are the best team in baseball. Their 7 aces and feared lineup of HOFers will carry them to a championship.


        • tom

          Curt Shilling tonight told the Baseball Tonight audience that THE ENTIRE NORTHEAST was concerned about the AL winning the All-Star Game, because Ortiz’s status as DH in the Series was at stake. His team’s presence being assumed.

          You have to wonder if these guys ever look at the stnadings.

          • Pat D

            I don’t understand why other people don’t grasp the simple concept of “Curt Schilling is a fucking nimrod jingoistic idiot who thinks the world resolves around him, his blog, and his tenure with the Red Sox.”

            • Xstar7

              You mean the world DOESN’T revolve around Curt Schilling, his blog, and his tenure with the Red Sox?


            • tom

              None of those things disqualify him as ESPN analyst.

              I really did used to like Baseball Tonight — I go back to when it was really the only way to know about teams besides your locals. But it has become more and more insufferable.

              • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

                Quick Pitch >>>>>>>>>>>>> BBTN

                • James

                  I like MLB tonight on the MLB Network… I find it more entertaining and since it can sometimes be a 5 hour program they cover a lot more. Plus it’s fun to watch Eric Byrnes get all riled up.

                  • bexarama

                    MLB Tonight is great for coverage but awful for any sort of analysis.

                    • Alfredo

                      i think they do pretty nice in analysis.

                    • FIPster Doofus

                      Yeah, their analysis is embarrassing. It’s a shame.

                    • Zack

                      I’ll still take them over BBTN, who refuses to show any respect for the Yankees or any other team besides the Phillies and Red Sox.

          • Kiko Jones

            WTF??!!! Predicting a pennant win in June, with your team in 2nd place, and in the middle of a losing streak? Can you imagine if Bernie Williams made a similar prediction about the Yankees? When will ESPN be officially deemed a chowdahead-lovin’ piece of shit?

        • Jorge

          Cashman failed for not having 12 aces like Al Aceves, Felix Dubrount, and Kevin Millwood.

          • BRAZILIAN FAN

            I saw on sportscenter the night the suxs lost the second game to the Phillies.
            Kruk said it was a mini preview of the World Series but instead of 7 games it was going to be played in 3.
            And I hate Ortiz instance right now (the guy is a total joke, i hate him more then Youk, Bum and Beckett), and the fact he won´t get paid by the Suxs this offseason and Boston management will be the most inteligent in baseball, because of that.
            When Posada renewed his contract the Yankees brass were a bunch of Sobs for not paying him.
            I hate the MSM.

  • Squishy Jello Person

    Probably the most stress free game in a very long time.

    Perfection in baseball uniforms.

  • http://RAB Nuke LaDoosh

    sorry i missed it..but i really love reading the reviews…

  • Drew

    “RAB Tickets can get you there dirt cheap”

    If by dirt cheap, you mean $97 minimum then yeah they are dirtiest of cheap.

  • sleepykarl

    The Yankees outscored the Brewers 22-4 in the series despite being out hit 25-24. Walks+XBH>>>>>singles.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Cutting edge analysis right there.

      • YankeesJunkie

        That analysis is better than 80% of people out there.

  • Pat D

    I noticed on Axford’s BRef page that the Yankees just flat out released Axford. Was there any reason why?

    • Nick

      check his minor stats, they are bad

  • V

    And something fans who -only- watch Yankees’ games would be shocked to know: the Reds and Brewers have some damn good hitters in their lineups. I can’t believe Weeks+Braun+Fielder were held homerless.

    • Will

      Even more surprisingly, Weeks and Fielder looked completely overmatched in almost every at bat of the series. And Braun, though he got several hits, was pitched extremely well by both Burnett and Sabathia–they didn’t give him anything to elevate or pull.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Entering the series, I figured Fielder would definitely hit a couple dingers to right. I’m surprised and happy he didn’t.

  • nsalem

    28-12 since the loss to TB. .700 ball for 1/4 of a season. If this keeps up for another few weeks maybe we need less modifications as previously thought.

    • David, Jr.

      Extremely talented team. Very comfortable with my 9 rating for this year.

  • Will

    Btw, the Yankees won the game 5-0, in case that wasn’t entirely clear. :)

  • Yankeefan91 Arod Fan

    seriously y are these tickets so expensive this weekend those are crazy prices

    • Evan3457

      Because there are very few left?

      • Yankeefan91 Arod Fan

        i mean the whole weekend tomorrow and Sunday too

  • Monteroisdinero

    3 hits by Cervelli in a 9 inning game. I wonder how many other guys on our team have done that this year. Not sayin’ Frankie is a good hitter but the guy does surprise from time to time.

    • David, Jr.

      Name change: cervelliisdinero.

      • Monteroisdinero

        Nah-he can’t hit a HR to right field. 2 venezuelan catchers but..


    • CMP

      You know what they say. Sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

  • Nick

    Can someone explain to me the difference between bWAR and fWAR… i mean I know one is baseball ref and one is fangraphs haha but why are they far off sometimes….like CCs bWAR is 2.7 and his fWAR is 3.9…

    • Matt Imbrogno

      bWAR for pitchers is based on Run Average, whereas fWAR is based on FIP.

      • Nick

        ahh thank you sir!

  • Mike Treder

    Minor quibble: Three strikeouts (by a hitter) is a ‘hat trick’. You don’t get a ‘golden sombrero’ unless you strike out four times.