Win the series. Just win the series. It's all about winning series for the Yankees right now. 2 out of 3 while the rest of the AL East goes hot and cold will make it an easier stretch run, and it doesn't matter how you get the W as long as you get it. They got a rare stellar start from CC Sabathia this afternoon, and even though they didn't do enough offensively to get him a win, they did just enough to come away with a team win and a series win.
It was a blast from the past for CC today. He was pitching like he was feeling good after the extra rest, hitting 93 on his 4-seam fastball and sitting low 90s on his 4-seamer and sinker all day. Seattle had a tough time squaring him up and didn't generate much through 4 innings. When the 5th came and the Mariners went back-to-back singles to lead it off, it looked like the one bad inning was coming. But CC limited the damage to 1 run and stranded runners on the corners by striking out Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano on nasty sliders to end the threat. That was pretty cool. He even threw in a 1-2-3 6th for good measure. Helluva day for the big guy.
The only run his lineup managed him was a Carlos Beltran RBI single in the 6th to tie the game. They stranded 2 in the 1st and 4th innings against a less-than-stellar Felix Hernandez, but worked him hard enough to get him out of the game after 6 and that proved to be the difference. Fernando Rodney came on with 1 out in the 8th and got A-Rod to pop out before going up 1-2 on Mark Teixeira. Instead of making him chase out of the zone with 2 strikes, Rodney tried to challenge Teix with a fastball and he threw it right over the middle of the plate, where Teix smacked it out for the go-ahead home run. He may not be the leading candidate, but Teix is definitely in the MVP race.
The Yankee 'pen was stellar behind CC. Scoreless frames from Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances (with 2 walks), and Andrew Miller for the save. 2 of 3, a series win, and another game off the magic number.
- If you're counting, that's 4 straight 2-1 series victories since the loss out in LA to start the month. It's also 9 wins in the last 13 games.
- Teix went 3-4 on the day including the home run, his 23rd of the year. He basically was the offense.
- Brett Gardner went 0-2 with 2 walks and a run scored, and he made a great leaping catch at the wall early in the game. His white shoes were also pretty dope.
- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 87 pitches, 60 strikes for CC. We have to assume that outings like this are the exception to the rule these days, but it doesn't make it any less sweet when they happen. Seeing CC pitch well and succeed is something that never gets old, even if he has.
- Newly reinstated starting second baseman Stephen Drew was 0-2 with a strikeout.
- Miller is 20-20 in save opportunities this year. Kinda cool that he's still perfect in mid-July.