Sabathia cruises as Yanks take series from Twins

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Wednesday Night Open Thread

For the fourth straight year and 11th time in the last 12 years, the Yankees have won 90 games. Their 8-2 win over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon gave the Bombers the series win, but more importantly it inched them ever closer to a playoff berth and a second straight AL East crown.

(Hannah Foslien/Getty)

CC on Cruise Control

The second half has been a bumpy road for CC Sabathia, but he dominated the Athletics last week and carried that over against the Twins on Wednesday. He allowed just two runs — on singles by former Yankees farmhand Matt Carson and Pedro Florimon, the second of which deflected off of Sabathia’s leg and away from Robinson Cano at second — in eight innings, striking out ten against just two walks. At one point he retired 14 of 16 batters faced and ended up throwing 118 total pitches.

Sabathia struck out the side on ten pitches in the fourth inning, so he was dangerously close to an Immaculate Inning. He also struck Joe Mauer out three times on nine total pitches (!) before getting a first pitch ground out in his fourth at-bat. It’s only the sixth time in Mauer’s 1,059-game career that he’s whiffed three times in one game (!!), and Sabathia joins Ryan Dempster and former 21-game loser Mike Maroth as the only pitchers to singlehandedly strike him out three times in a single game. CC is now the only guy to do it twice. More importantly though, he’s starting to round into form and that’s very, very good news for the Yankees.

(Hannah Foslien/Getty)

Bring In The Lefty? Six-Run Third

The third of three Twins starters probably no one heard of coming into the series, right-hander Samuel Deduno lasted just five outs and 30 pitches due to a left eye issue. Ron Gardenhire replaced him with left-hander Brian Duensing, which seemed like a problem for the Yankees because six of their nine starters were lefties. Duensing struck out Raul Ibanez to end the second inning, but it was all downhill for the 2009 ALDS Game One Starter from there.

After Chris Stewart opened the third with a ground out, the left-handed Chris Dickerson grounded a two-strike single back up the middle to start the rally. Ichiro Suzuki followed with a single to almost the exact same spot, then Derek Jeter drew a walk to loaded the bases. The day’s 3-4-5 hitters plated five total runs with a two-run double to right (Cano), a one-run single to right (Nick Swisher), and a two-run triple into the right field corner (Curtis Granderson). Granderson scored on a wild pitch as Eric Chavez was being walked, then Duensing’s day was over after retiring Ibanez for the second time. Of the seven left-handed hitters the southpaw faced, five reached base. Ibanez was the only one who didn’t. I guess that strategy backfired.


Jeter took an 0-for-4 with a walk, so his hitting streak came to an end at 19 games. It was the third longest streak of his career. The Cap’n has still reached base in a season-high 27 games though, and that’s the fifth longest single-season streak of his career. Pretty neat. Ichiro extended his hitting streak to ten with a 2-for-4 afternoon.

Dickerson plated some extra insurance runs with a two-run blast off the facing of the right field upper deck in the sixth inning. I’m telling you, the guy can hit righties. He can also play some strong defense in all three outfield spots and is a high-percentage base-stealer. Not calling him an All-Star or anything, but C-Dick is a better player than most people realize. Ichiro, Cano, Ibanez, and Dickerson all had two hits while Swisher (single, walk), Chris Stewart (single, walk), and Chavez (two walks) all reached twice as well.

Cano had himself a nice day at the plate with the two-run double, but he also turned several nice plays in the field as well. Some were solo jobs coming in on ground balls, but on two occasions he teamed up with Swisher on relay plays at the bag, like the play above. Brett Gardner also got into the game in the ninth inning, taking over in left field for the final three outs. He didn’t have to make any plays because Cody Eppley didn’t allow anything to be hit out of the infield.

Chavez forgot how many outs there were in the fifth inning, simply stepping on third base and trotting towards the dugout with runners on first and second with one out. I don’t think it would have been a double play anyway because he was playing back and the speedy Florimon was running down the line, but still. He can’t be making mistakes like that. Sabathia escaped the inning unscathed but had to throw four extra pitches, assuming the double play would have been turned.

The six runs the Yankees scored in the third was their fourth highest-scoring inning of the season. They’ve scored seven runs in one inning on three separate occasions this season, including in both the seventh and eighth innings of the 15-9 comeback win in Fenway Park. They also plated seven in one inning as part of a big win over the Orioles on August 1st.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights while ESPN has the updated standings. The magic number to clinch the division is down to six while the magic number to clinch a postseason berth is just four. Those numbers could drop further tonight depending on what happens with the Orioles, Rays, and Angels.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

It’s off to Toronto for the final road series of the season. The Yankees will open the four-game set against the Blue Jays on Thursday night, when Ivan Nova squares off against Brandon Morrow.

Must-Click Link: The Silent One
Wednesday Night Open Thread
  • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW)

    I had no idea there was a game today. Jesus. Glad they won.

    • Go Back To Rainbow Connection

      Get it together.

      • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW)

        I was looking forward to watching tonight.

  • Joe F

    I love winning. Magic numbers are decreasing :D.

  • Better off Eddard

    I could only listen while at work. Jeff Nelson was brilliant on the radio but Sterling reminded us every half inning that Susyn would be back tomorrow.

    Hopefully Toronto can gift us another win over Baltimore but that might be too much to ask. 3 game lead with 7 to play would be virtually insurmountable. CC did what aces are supposed to do, get the W and give the pen a day off.

    • Squints

      Jeff Nelson did a great job. I much rather prefer him over Susan but I know that wont happen.

    • Go Back To Syrio Forel

      Trade Sterling.

      • Steve (different one)

        We’d have to throw in mason just to get Qualls back….

        • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

          Worth it.

  • Anthony

    Got to feel good about this things. CC is returning to form, Pettite has been strong since returning, and the offense is more or less back. Lets take 3 of 4 from the Jays.

    • Anthony

      *about thing. I don’t think I’ll ever write a grammatically correct sentence on here.

      • Anthony

        *things… I’m just going to hide in the corner now.

    • Tom Q

      I almost feel like, with Andy back and CC finally showing his full form, the team’s added two top-of-the-line starters for the stretch — and the absence of the two of them may have been the major reason for the trough the team hit from July to a few weeks ago.

      • Anthony

        Certainly a possibility… especially when you account for the bullpen having to pick up major slack (especially from Garcia’s starts). Of course, the sleeping offense doesn’t escape blame either.

        It seems those days have past, thank god. Getting Tex back would also be a big plus.

  • Mark L.

    We aren’t calling him C-Dick…

    • Steve (different one)

      Probably better than calling Ichiro “I-Suk”….

      • Steve (different one)

        I do realize that was a reach, since it would be I-Suz. and not even for a good joke. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

    • Joe F

      Why not? C-Dick is an awesome nickname. I call him that.

    • DC


    • vicki


      NO NO NO NO NO.

      shutting this nonsense down.

      his name is ‘big swingin’ dickerson.’



      after michael lewis.

      and bear in mind a girl nicknamed MFIKY. look it up.

      please stop embarrassing yourselves with the cdick nonsense. it’s idiotic. really really stupid.

  • Rich in NJ

    Dickerson needs to play more v. RHP, which would mean no more Ibanez in the OF.

    • Joe F

      Yea CDick does need to play more when Girardi puts out Ibanez and Jones. He’s better.

  • Dalelama

    Nice to see Arod had his best game in awhile.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Nice to see you’re still an idiot.

      • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW)

        Why so touchy? Are you angry that your team is paying so much and getting so little in return and will be on the hook for years to come?

        • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

          No, it’s more of the fact that according to Mike, the last 38(that number might be wrong) Delelama commented on this site it has been nothing but a dig at A-Rod. Unlike Chilango below, who might be critical of players but at least stays to back up his comments, Delelama comes, drops a one-lined dig at Alex then disappears for another couple of weeks.

          • Rocky Road Redemption

            Did you know Dalelama was actually around in 09′?

            I’m not kidding! I found him when I looked myself up in the 09′ threads!

            • dalelama

              I have been around forever as I am old as dirt. I just can’t stand the fact a known overpaid cheat like Old Purple Lips has so many sycophants who can’t stand that his consistent under performance is pointed out.

              • Need Pitching & Hitting

                You mean people that can occasionally think about other things other than ARod and aren’t compulsively obsessed with what ARod is doing. That’s not being a sycophant, that’s being rational. Try it sometime.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              teddy’s been around that long too.

      • Chilango

        So Delama’s an idiot because he gets in a sarcastic dig about Arod’s recent performance, or lack thereof? OK fair enough (or unfair enough, because we’re all pretty sarcastic here) but I’ll take the comment as it was probably intended, considering these: .256/.305 in Sept. (88 AB).

        • dalelama


        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          He’s an idiot because every single comment he makes is about ARod. He even comes to complain about ARod on a day he doesn’t even play. I don’t give a shit if people complain about ARod. He’s drastically overpaid (Hank’s fault, not Arod’s), he’s no longer an elite player, and he’s currently slumping. Is Dalelama’s obsession with ARod going to change any of that? No.

        • WhittakerWalt

          Same thing could have been said about Jeter in May and June. Players have slumps.

        • DT

          Shocking that a hitter coming of the DL isn’t hitting with consistency.

        • JLC776

          .256/.305 isn’t exactly bottom of the team though. Plus, call it a coincidence, but for the two months A-Rod was out, the offense was completely and utterly anemic. He does add a presence.

          • forensic

            Unfortunately, it actually is pretty damn close to bottom of the team though.

            His .256 BA is 3rd highest, which is a sad statement on the Yanks offense in general.

            But, his .305 OBP is second lowest among regulars, only better than Granderson’s pitiful .263.

            His .384 SLG is second lowest among regulars, only .001 better than Jeter’s .382.

            He was a pleasant surprise briefly after coming off the DL, but unfortunately has since fallen into his more typical bad production in the longer term after returning from injury.

  • Dalelama

    Nice to see Arod have his best game in awhile.

    • RocketMan86


  • bpdelia

    man. i am the only one who feels lije its been ages since i watched a relaxing yankees game. i needed that alot.

  • Chilango

    A nice blowout, a great performance by CC and I missed it. Should never let work interfere with baseball.

  • Steve S

    Wasn’t a fan with how Girardi handled the bullpen in the 9th. Should have had Aardsma in. And why in the world was David Robertson up?

    • Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW)


    • Hoss

      Because he completely screwed up last night and wasn’t leaving anything to chance today.
      I do not think that removing Hughes was a bad move. I’d have done it after the 10-pitch walk – sure sign that he’s imploding. Then you don’t (hopefully) have bases loaded. But mistake #2 was leaving Logan in there to fester… c’mon! He had 4 chances to get 1 out. I don’t care about lefty-lefty shit, the guy is tired and his stuff is shit right now.
      The credit Girardi gets for bullpen management is a crock.

      • Chilango

        I didn’t see the game unfortunately because an 8-2 romp sounded like it was a lot of fun. Did Joe really have DRob up? Don’t get that at all. Why not Aardsma?

      • JLC776

        Relax – DRob wasn’t up because he might enter the game. He was just tossing. Happens from time to time.

  • tipsie

    Was at all 3 games. Robertson & Soriano were tossing during various parts of the 8-9th, nothing more. Thought maybe he’d bring Aardsma in with 2 outs in the 9th, but no matter.

    CC was dealing. However, not quite convinced he is “back”, as he touched 93 only once on the gun today. Many FBs were 92. Plus, the Twins lineup was limited by 4 lefties. Starting a lineup 1-2-3 with 3 lefties against CC is not the smartest thing.

    Great stress free game, especially after the Boone debacle.

  • Managing Scared

    Because Girardi is trying to burn out some more of his bullpen. Six run lead with one inniing to go and he warms up four players including the setup man. What was once a strength in managing the bullpen has become yet another joke from the dugout.
    I was waiting for te fool to come up with another four AB sample size to use as proof of “tons of success” like he did last night. What a dope.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    In all seriousness, that Girardi may now be making more bad managerial decisions than he used to, arguably, is really not a good excuse to insult the man’s intelligence. We all act as if we could do better, but in truth I doubt any of us would have any clue what it’s like to manage an actual game.

  • Kramerica Industries

    I love the early game recap post.

    Especially since, with my fatigue, I may not have even made it to 11 tonight.

  • dalelama

    It was nice to see CC pitch like an ace for a change.

    • DT

      I guess you missed the last game he pitched in?

  • bpdelia

    dude. this guy might be the most annoyibg troll ive ever seen. sabathia is about as consistent an ace as they come. dude had his first extended bad stretch in like six damn years. ive been a fan since 78 and have watched 120 games,minimum a yea since 1992 ans sabathia is easily the one Yankee in those decades I have the least to complain about. get a grip kid.