Sabathia dominates Rockies as bats come alive

Saturday afternoon’s game was as close to flawless as victories come these days. Great pitching, a prolonged and diverse offensive attack that featured small ball and power, plus some fine defense. To the bullet points…

  • As far as I’m concerned, the star of the game was CC Sabathia. The big lefty struck out a season high nine in eight innings, throwing just 103 pitches and going to a three-ball count on only two of the 31 batters he faced. He whiffed five guys on sliders, two on changeups, and two on fastballs. Colorado didn’t get a man to second base until the fifth inning, and just three runners made it that far in Sabathia’s eight innings.
  • Aaron Cook really had no chance given his inability to miss bats. Brett Gardner started the game with a perfect bunt single, then stole second before scoring on Curtis Granderson‘s hustle double. Alex Rodriguez drove in Grandy with a single for the second run, and before you knew it the Yankees were up five-zip in the third inning following an A-Rod double and a Nick Swisher sacrifice fly. Another run came in the sixth, then two more in the eighth. Relentless.
  • Gardner, Robinson Cano, and Eduardo Nunez were the only players not to have multiple hits, though Gardner did augment his bunt single with two walks. Robbie grounded into two double plays, which were rather ugly. Mark Teixiera hit a garbage time two-run homer, Jorge Posada had a booming double to dead center, and even Frankie Cervelli slapped two singles. Fifteen hits and four walks are a good way to score eight runs.
  • How awful is Buddy Carlyle? He comes into the ninth inning with a seven run lead and immediately walks the leadoff man before giving up a homer to Ty Wigginton. Because that wasn’t good enough, Carlyle then walked the next guy, forcing Mariano Rivera to warm up in the bullpen. Thankfully the nonsense ended there and he retired the next three batters in a row, but good grief. Your roster spot is hardly set in stone, the least you could do is throw strikes.
  • Here’s the box score and WPA graph. Nothing more to see here.

The rubber game is Sunday afternoon but first we’ve got Old Timers’ Day. The festivities will begin at 11:30am ET and the full roster of attendees is right here. If you want to head up to the big ballpark in the Bronx, RAB Tickets can get you there on the cheap.

Trenton walks its way to blowout win

Remember when Steve Garrison pitched in relief for Short Season Staten Island last night just two days after starting? That wasn’t him, it was Caleb Cotham. The box score has been updated. David Phelps‘ shoulder injury is being described as simply “shoulder discomfort.” That sucks. Kei Igawa is heading back to Triple-A Scranton as well.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 win over Durham)
Austin Krum, LF: 1 for 3, 1 BB
Kevin Russo, 2B & Brandon Laird, 3B: both 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Mike Lamb, 1B & Jordan Parraz, RF: both 0 for 4, 2 K – double sadface
Jesus Montero, C: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Terry Tiffee, DH: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K
Greg Golson, CF: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI – 12 for his last 38 (.316) with one double, two triples, and a homer
Doug Bernier, SS: 1 for 4, 1 K
Adam Warren, RHP: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 6-2 GB/FB, 1 E (fielding) – 60 of 96 pitches were strikes (62.5%) … two runs allowed in his last 29 IP (four starts)
Eric Wordekemper, RHP: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 2-0 GB/FB – 18 of 31 pitches were strikes (58.1%)
Randy Flores, LHP: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2-0 GB/FB – 11 of 15 pitches were strikes (73.3%)

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Open Thread: Hooray for CC

Two game losing streak? Kaput. CC Sabathia made sure of that this afternoon with eight splendid innings, giving up just one run in garbage time. Eight times he’s started after a Yankees loss this year, and six times he’s ended the schneid and pitched them to a win. That’s what the man is here to do. Bravo.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. A game will be shown on MLB Network, but the teams depend on where you live. Talk about whatever your heart desires there though, go nuts.

Cashman: Jeter could ramp up rehab today

Via Conor Orr, Brian Cashman said there’s a chance that Derek Jeter will ratchet up his rehab from a calf injury today to include “more functional stuff.” All Jeter has done so far is throw and get treatment, so I assume “functional stuff” includes some running and hitting. There’s a pretty good chance the Cap’n will need more than just the minimum 15 days on the disabled list, especially since calf problems can linger for a while. He’s eligible come off the DL on Wednesday.

Game 75: Big Stoppa

Photo © Samara Pearlstein

The Yankees are nursing a baby two-game losing streak, so it’s up to the big man to step in and show everyone who’s boss. He’s won six of his last seven and is looking to become the first pitcher to rack up 10 hyper-important W’s in 2011. To stop him, the Rockies send out Aaron Cook (4.67 ERA/3.36 FIP). Meanwhile, I continue on my nefarious weekend writer plot to take over the entire website. Muahahaha. Nothing to see here, folks, just the lineup…

Brett Gardner, LF
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Francisco Cervelli, C

CC Sabathia, P

You can catch the game on YES at 1:05 pm. Woo.

Rival execs think Cashman’s ready to leave

Buster Olney spoke to executives from around the league recently (Insider req’d), and the feeling is that this season will be Brian Cashman‘s last as Yankees GM. “I think maybe he’s finally had it,” said one GM. “That’s a job that will take a lot out of you.” “I don’t think he has any idea how different his life would be if he wasn’t general manager of the Yankees,” said said another exec.

Cashman said yesterday that’s he’s not worried about his future, only that he doesn’t intend to talk about a new deal until after the season, per team mandate. Olney says it’s the uncharacteristic honesty that has him thinking Cashman’s ready to leave, echoing what I said last week. He also reminds us that it appeared as if Cashman was going to leave on three other occasions, only to return at the behest of the Steinbrenners. I think it’s 50-50 that he stays, the lowest odds I’ve ever given these situations.

Giambi goes deep, Yankees drop opener to Rox

Just like old times, sorta.

Let’s recap…

  • It did not look like Ubaldo Jimenez was long for this game early on. He walked Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira in the first inning, then Alex Rodriguez doubled down the left field line to drive in Grandy. Charlie Blackmon bobbled the ball in left, but for whatever reason Tex stopped at third. Maybe he didn’t see the bobble, maybe third base coach Robbie Thompson held him up, who knows. Someone definitely made a mistake though. Grandy created their second run with a walk, stolen base, move to third on a sac fly, then score on a sac fly in the third inning.
  • That’s was it though, Jimenez settled down after that and retired 11 of the last 14 men he faced. One of the three that reached base did so on an error, and another one of the runners (Eduardo Nunez) was erased on a caught stealing. A-Rod got doubled off second on a Robinson Cano line drive to end the first, and I can’t help but wonder what could have been if he got back to the bag in time and Tex had scored on the double. Oh well.
  • A.J. Burnett walked five and struck out five, and four of those whiffs came in the sixth inning**. He’s the first pitcher in team history (!!!) to strike out four in an inning, and it’s all thanks to a wild pitch strike three that allowed the runner to reach instead of ending the inning. Jason Giambi murdered a 2-0 fastball for a solo homer in the second, then Troy Tulowitzki hit a solo shot in the fifth on a pitch out over the plate. The other runs came on a Todd Helton single and Ty Wigginton grounder, and both rallies started with walks. Free baserunners are bad news.
  • Granderson (three walks) and Nick Swisher (two singles) were the only Yankees to reach base twice. Tex walked, A-R0d had the double, and both Russell Martin and Nunez singled. Cano’s eleven game hitting streak ended. Grandy also stole two bags. They had their chances earlier in the game, for sure. Ubaldo wasn’t great, he definitely wiggled out of some jams. Such is life.
  • Boone Logan retired three of the four left-handed batters he face (two strikeouts), the one exception being a ground rule double to Carlos Gonzalez. He retired one righty and walked another. Fluke, or the start of a turn around?
  • Here’s the box score, here’s the WPA graph, and here’s the hilarious strike zone plot*. Seriously, Ed Hickox must have been double parked or something, he was calling everything a strike.

Game two of the series is Saturday afternoon, when CC Sabathia will look to end this little two game losing streak against Aaron Cook. RAB Tickets can get you there dirt cheap, if you want to head up to the Bronx.

* I love that you can see Boone Logan’s pitch to the backstop above the legend.

** Update: That was actually the second time Burnett has struck out four batters in one inning in his career. He also did it with the Marlins way back in the day. He and Chuck Finley are the only guys to do it twice. Ever.