I don't know what's gotten into the Yankees this week. I don't know what it means and I don't know how long it's going to last. What I know is that I'm absolutely loving it and it's been fun to write about.
The Yankees put the Angels down 6-2 this afternoon to close out their 6th straight win and 2nd straight series sweep after the beatdown in Seattle. It didn't look like it was going to be that kind of ending after the top of the 1st, when CC Sabathia gave up back-to-back home runs to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. CC has been getting abused by right-handed hitting and these were just the 2 latest examples. There was little reason to expect that CC was going to have a good game based on how that 1st inning went.
And then a funny thing happened. CC found his command, found a little juice in his fastball, and turned in one of his best performances of the season. He didn't allow another run after the 1st, only gave up 2 more hits, and finished 6 strong innings with 7 strikeouts and a pitch count at 87. Unfortunately he battled a horrible home plate umpire in Dan Bellino all day and got tossed for arguing calls after the top of the 6th, as did Joe in coming out to defend CC. Hey whatever, I'm happy taking 6 innings and 2 runs from the big guy these days.
The Yankee offense took a little while to get going against C.J. Wilson. They got a run in the 3rd on a Jose Pirela double and Didi Gregorius RBI groundout, but they found their stride in the 5th inning and used 1 big swing from Brett Gardner to essentially put the game away. Chris Young started the inning with a solo home run to tie the game at 2, and Didi and JRM singled to set the stage for Gardner. He worked a 2-0 count and was looking fastball all the way as Wilson grooved one over for a strike. Gardner yanked it for a 3-run homer and a 5-2 lead. Great hitting from a guy who's sneaky become a really good hitter.
Joe had his bullpen horses rested and they gave the Angels no chance. Justin Wilson worked a scoreless 7th, Dellin Betances fanned 2 in a perfect 8th, and Andrew Miller K'd the side in the 9th. Ballgame over, Yankees win.
- Young's home run was his first since May 2nd. That's a long time without a home run for a guy who's got 7 on the season.
- Big day for Jose Pirela, who went 2-3 with the early double and his first career Major League home run in the bottom of the 7th. That's what he has to do to get more playing time.
- Not so good day for Chase Headley, who went 1-4 with 2 strikeouts and made his 13th error of the season. The offensive under-performance is a problem, but the defensive issues are just becoming sad. He can't make a routine throw anymore.
- Before he got run, CC recorded his 2,500th career strikeout, which put him 9th all-time among lefties. That's a pretty impressive achievement when you think about it.
- Didi up to .238.
- Props to Wilson, who has pitched 6 scoreless innings combined over his last 7 appearances. He and Shreve both appear to be taking up the regular setup roles ahead of Millances.