Jul
04

Sabathia wins 200th game as Cano comes up big against Twins

By

What is this, a winning streak? Three counts as a streak, right? Yes, yes it does. The Yankees beat the Twins for the third consecutive game on Wednesday afternoon, coming from behind for the sweet 3-2 victory.

(Presswire)

(Presswire)

Why Are They Pitching To Him?
Boy did the Yankees get a gift in this one. Journeyman right-hander P.J. Walters completely shut them down over the first five innings, but that third time through the order proved to be his undoing. The sixth inning started with a four-pitch walk to Brett Gardner and a booming double off the right field wall — it was fair by about a foot or so — by Ichiro Suzuki, putting men at second and third with no outs. New York was down 2-0 at the time.

That brought Robinson Cano to the plate, and at this point you have to think the Twins would pitch around him. Maybe not outright intentionally walk him with no outs, but tease him with stuff off the plate since you know Robbie is very willing to expand the zone. Maybe get a weak ground ball that forces the runner at third to hold or something. That’s the right move, right? Maybe, but it’s not the move the Twins made. They pitched to Cano and paid for it when Walters hung a breaking ball, which was lined it into right-center for a two-run double. Just like that, the game was tied and the go-ahead run was in scoring position.

Robbie advanced to third on Travis Hafner‘s single then came in to score what proved to be the game-winning run on Lyle Overbay‘s sac fly later in the inning. Remember what I wrote the other day about the Yankees only scoring when the other team makes a mistake? That’s confirmation bias more than anything, but Minnesota royally screwed up by going after Cano with two men on-base and they paid dearly. Robbie is locked in.

(Presswire)

(Presswire)

Sabathia Bends But Does Not Break
This was the classic “oh my goodness he looks like crap this is bad they have no chance oh look there he is in the seventh inning hey this start was pretty good” game from CC Sabathia. We’ve seen him do this plenty of times over the last few years and that ability to avoid a total meltdown is one of the things that separates good pitchers from great pitchers. Sabathia needed 80 pitches to complete the first four frames, but in the end he held the Twins to two runs in seven innings. I’ll take that every day of the week.

According to Brooks Baseball, Sabathia averaged 93.1 mph and topped out at 94.3 mph with his fastball. That is quite a bit better than where he was earlier this year and is a continuation of his last three or four starts. As the weather warmed up, so has CC’s fastball. That’s the good news. The bad news is that his command is still not where it needs to be, which is a problem because we’re in July already. Sabathia walked three and struck out nine in those seven innings, so he made it work. Grind-it-out starts like this have become the norm, which is unfortunate even if it’s good enough to win. One of these days he’ll put together a nice and easy outing … I think. Until that happens, starts like this will have to do.

Cano should have had three hits. (Presswire)

Cano should have had three hits. (Presswire)

Leftovers
Aside from a broken bat bloop over Cano’s head, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera finished off the final two innings without much of a problem. Rivera probably won’t be available for the series finale after appearing in each of the last three games, but so be it. The Yankees need every win and today’s game is more important than tomorrow’s.

New York only had four total hits and three came in the span of three batters in that sixth inning — Ichiro‘s double, Cano’s double, and Hafner’s single. Robbie chipped in a single in the first inning and that’s all. The final 12 Yankees to bat made outs, and the bottom five hitters in the lineup went a combined 0-for-16 with a walk (David Adams).

Luis Cruz had an eventful debut in pinstripes, airmailing a throw from shortstop for an error and having a no-doubt extra-base hit robbed by Oswaldo Arcia at the wall in the left field corner. Otherwise he made every play at short look rather routine, probably because they were.

Finally, congrats to Sabathia for his 200th career win. Eighty-three of those wins have come with the Yankees. One or even a season’s worth of pitcher wins mean nothing, but a number like 200 symbolizes longevity and effectiveness. You don’t stick around for 200 wins if you aren’t good. Congrats to CC and here’s to another hundred wins.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. For some other stats and neat-looking graphs, go to FanGraphs. For the updated standings, go to ESPN. The Bombers are five back of first place and four up on last place in the AL East in the loss column. They’re two back of a wildcard spot.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees will go for the rare four-game sweep on Thursday afternoon, in an Independence Day matinee. David Phelps and the just called up Kyle Gibson is your pitching matchup.

Categories : Game Stories
  • Kramerica Industries

    Very much peeved that I won’t be able to watch tomorrow. Working an afternoon-long work shift on the 4th of July is absolutely heinous as far as I’m concerned.

    Hope it goes like the last Phelps start I missed. That would be the game in Seattle. Minnesota is absolutely terrible, and with a chance to grab all four, you gotta take it.

    Yay for 3rd place.

    • forensic

      I’d rather work a set shift and know I’m done afterwards than be on standby all 24 hours like I am. That means I can’t really plan or do much and I don’t really get paid full/holiday wage either (unless I get called out).

      • Kramerica Industries

        Yeah, your work situation, based on previous posts and this one, doesn’t exactly sound like a whole load of fun.

        • forensic

          Eh, I really like my job, though there are certain things that I wish were a little different. Overall can’t complain too much. That’s just life when you’re in a career that requires 24/7/365 coverage, especially when you’re a little short on personnel.

    • Pat D

      You could always have to research and write an at least 6-8 page paper that’s due Sunday, also having to worry about people coming over to your house tomorrow, forcing you to be sociable, and then you’re getting dragged to Gettysburg for the weekend.

      Meaning…when am I gonna get this done?

      • Kramerica Industries

        My favourite time to get my papers done was at some point between 1 and 5 o’clock.

        The AM is implied.

        (though it might help to know the topic here. Some topics are easier to write about than others, obviously.)

        • Pat D

          It’s for my Human Evolution class. I’m going with some topic of the history of teaching evolution, probably focusing on the U.S.

          If I can get enough decent source articles tomorrow, I’ll be able to write it without too much difficulty.

          • Kramerica Industries

            So a science class of sorts. I think that’s more of a social science, which isn’t exactly my favourite realm.

            I wasn’t a History major, but in general, History topics were my strongest when it came to writing papers. Didn’t really matter if it was North American history or European. Writing an extended paper with social sciences isn’t my idea of fun, but obviously to each their own.

            Jeez. Now I’m getting some rather pleasant flashbacks to a European History class I took as a freshman.

            In any case, good luck with all of that.

            • Pat D

              It does count as a science class. I took it because I needed another science class and I had this professor for anthropology last semester. It’s really a combination of science, anthropology and history.

              I’ve used Wikipedia as a starting point to find some key terms, actions and cases that I can further search for information.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Don’t look now, but Cano’s rocking a 10.5 BB%.

    A Robinson Cano who isn’t afraid to take a walk? That shit isn’t even fair.

    • forensic

      Well, it’s a 7.5 uIBB%. Last year was 7.4%. 2010 was 6.3%

      Obviously, it’s higher than other years in the past, but it’s not like he suddenly took a huge step forward this season. He’s just nearly at a career high in IBB already just halfway through the season.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Fair enough, although I’d say that last year was his huge step forward, and that he’s gotten back to it recently.

        He’s got 7 unintentional walks in his last 10 games, just as many as he had in the 20 games before that.

        • Pat D

          forensic owned you.

          ;)

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            Hahaa

            • trr

              Point is, Cano has shown increased discipline at the plate, which is a big part of why he’s been so hot lately. He’ s something of a streaky hitter, and when he’s hitting, it’s great to watch.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Also, his OPS+ is now the 2nd best of his career and only 1 point lower than his career best mark he set last year.

  • forensic

    It’s nice to know there is at least one manager worse than Girardi out there. Still pitching to Cano? Bringing in righty relievers to pitch to Cano? You’re lucky you’re in Minnesota and they don’t expect much after their group of good seasons, Gardenhire. You sure seem to suck at this managing thing.

    It sucks that in about a week and a half the Yanks won’t get to see the Twins anymore this season.

    Scanning the game thread, it’s nice to see the ‘cooled off’ comments still going strong. I particularly liked that 7 AB’s doesn’t mean anything when it’s a 3-7, but when it’s an 0-7 it’s indicative of something.

    • Bob Buttons

      ‘Tis the way of people. A lot of bitching and whining about the little things going wrong but don’t stop to appreciate the little things that went quite right.

    • trr

      It does sometimes seems like managing the Twins is the easiest job in baseball. Guys keep that job for years no matter how bad the team is

  • YankeeFan

    Adams last 6 games only hitting .222 but nice to see him taking walks as his OBP in the last 6 games is .391. His plate discipline and pitch awareness seems to be coming around, hopefully it’s soon enough that he starts driving the ball into the gaps.

  • Pat D

    Lou Brown said winning 3 in a row is a winning streak, so yes, it is a winning streak.

  • forensic

    The Indians and Royals have had a nearly 3 hour rain delay tonight and just finished a 12 minute light delay because someone forgot to turn off the computer which is programmed to turn the lights off at midnight.

    What time do the sprinklers go on?

    • Pat D

      You’re joking about that, aren’t you?

      • forensic

        Not at all. I’m listening to the Royals radio broadcast and their PR guy made the announcement to the media that that’s exactly what happened.

  • Get Phelps Up

    4 hits and a win.

    Something about that is just so satisfying.

  • http://twitter.com/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

    Had to scroll back through the news today to find out what a Luis Cruz is. Its getting to the point where they are gonna have to start putting names on jerseys just so people can figure out what 5th or 6th string guy is playing that day. Guys are walking through the clubhouse with “Hello my name is…” stickers on.

    • forensic

      No joke:

      My wife asked me to put together a cheat sheet with names, uniform numbers, and pictures so she knew who was who on the team.

      She’s a fan, but she hasn’t been able to just sit and watch many games so most of the roster is a complete unknown to her.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        That would be the equivalent of my wife’s “who the fuck are these guys? Who the fuck is that guy? He just threw the ball into the stands. He sucks. Where do they find these guys? Where’s Jeter? Still hurt? How much is he making? Get on a treadmill.”

        All of this in response to Luis Cruz, who we all know is really Ramiro Peña.

      • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        LOL…. My wife stop caring years ago she just lets me be.

        I love that woman.

  • Lukaszek

    There’s nothing more fun than watching Cano when esta en fuego. His cold streaks are so frustrating, but when he’s locked in, he can make you feel the adrenaline.

  • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    School papers, going to work and on 24 hr standby from work!!!!!

    This is an outrage! It’s the birthday of the greatest country in the world. So lets do what needs to get done or just plain ignore it and meet back here by 2:00 pm with drinks in hand to enjoy Americas favorite pass time.
    Don’t do it for yourself do it for your country.

    God Bless you all and God bless the United States of America.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJNqep77vBw

    Boar’s Head Natural All Beef Hot Dogs Presents Mustang’s Has Been and Wannabee of the Game Awards:

    The Wannabe of the game is Robinson ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBS0OWGUidc ” Cano

    The Has Been of the game is CC “Mr. 200″ Sabathia
    The A-Rod effect still in full force.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    30 days today since Righetti’s no-hitter. One of my favorite childhood memories. Didn’t even watch it. We were at the Jersey shore all day and my dad turned on the radio on the way back home in time for the ninth inning. I’ve now seen the game itself a thousand times since.

    Onto last night’a game. What’s this “Luis Cruz” crap? Did you look at the guy? That’s Ramiro Fucking Peña in disguise. Welcome back, Ramiro. You still suck.

    For those who miss GS3, we’ve now played 86 guys at short this year, just like the old days.

    That’s the CC I want to see. Bend, doesn’t break, doesn’t give up the close lead his team gives him. Very nice win. These wins don’t count for a half game or anything. They’re just as important.

    FINISH THEM.

    • Pat D

      Righetti’s no hitter was a month ago?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Fun with iPhone commenting.

  • jjyank

    It both amuses and saddens me that there are ~30 comments on a recap thread where the Yankees win, and somewhere in the neighborhood of ~150 when they lose.

    • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      Doesn’t sadden me at all. Real Yankees fans like to celebrate winning more then complaining about losing.

      • Jim Is (not) Bored

        Amen

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Harder to tout your amateur GM/genius abilities when they win.

      • jjyank

        Hm. My keyboard is surprisingly not sticky.

  • David Brown

    A Major reason to pay close attention to this year is Marino Rivera. A few numbers. Mariano Rivera’s Career ERA, is now below 2.2 (2.194), which is the best of any pitcher whose career started post Dead Ball Era. I know people will say it does not matter for Relievers, but by comparison, Trevor Hoffman’s was 2.84 (Much worse).Speaking of Hoffman, he shares the Record with Mariano of 15 years of 30+ Saves. With Save 28 last night, Mariano is only two away from erasing Hoffman from the Record Book once again. One record Hoffman has is 9 years of 40 + Saves. If Mariano can get a dozen more this Season he can tie Hoffman, and will surpass the Billy Wagner Record of 37 in his Final Season. Not bad at all.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Hoffman also pitched his entire career in the NL, and in a much better pitcher’s park. That and he was rubbish in the postseason.

  • http://RAB I remember the CBS years!

    Why Cruz and not Lillibridge? Every time I read the minor updates, he seems to be hitting. It took Cruz only three innings to get his first Nunez.(Error) Does it seem like Almonte’s swing is not only getting longer, but, his choice of pitches are Wellsian. Hope he’s not following the Adams Trail.