Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yankees defeat the Angels behind C.C.

The New York Yankees defeated the Anaheim Angels by the score of 3-2 on Saturday night. The Yankees offense was two homeruns, the big one coming off the bat of Alex Rodriguez to give them a two run lead that they would hold onto. Sabathia was brilliant pitching into the ninth inning but not being able to complete the game. Mariano Rivera earned the save by getting the last batter of the game.
Sabathia pitched 8 2/3 innings giving up two runs, only one of them being earned on eight hits. He walked one batter and struck out three. Sabathia has now won four in a row and pitched into at least the eighth inning in all of those starts. He is now 7-3 on the season with a ERA of 2.80. Rivera earned his 15th save of the season with a one pitch out. He got an easy pop up to short not even breaking a sweat in this one.

The Yankees only managed seven hits in this game, it was better then the three they had in the first game of the series. Robinson Cano had a solo homerun and Rodriguez had the two run homerun. Derek Jeter had a hit and a walk. Jeter is now 15 hits away from 3000 and he tied Sam Rice for 28th on the all-time list. Roberto Clemente is next up at 3000. Curtis Granderson had a hit and a walk, Nick Swisher had a hit and he hit the ball hard a couple of other times. Swisher appears to be coming out of his slump. Jorge Posada drew a walk and hit the ball hard to center field in one of his at-bats, he has been swinging better also of late. Brett Gardner had two hits. Swisher had a double, the Yankees were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. Granderson was caught stealing and Jeter committed an error.

The two teams have split the first two games of the series. They will finish the series at 3:30 on Sunday afternoon. Bartolo Colon will make the start for the Yankees against Joel Piniero. The Yankees will be trying to win their first series in Anaheim in seven years. They are also 8-20 in their last 28 series in Anaheim. Here are some postgame notes.

The first changeup was fouled off by Maicer Izturis. The second was hit to deep center field by Erick Aybar.

“It was huge for me tonight,” Sabathia said. “The only reason I pitched eight innings tonight is because I was able to get some swings early and get some weak fly balls (and) get some ground balls with that pitch. A couple of years ago, I probably would have been in trouble not being able to command it if I didn’t have it early.”  He is talking about his changeup which was a great pitch for him in this game.

Sabathia has pitched at least eight innings in his past four starts. He’s won seven of his past nine, and tonight he was one out away from his second complete game in the past two weeks. After Alex Rodriguez hit the go-ahead, two-run home run in the sixth inning, Sabathia needed a total of 12 pitches to get through the next two innings. A third of those 12 pitches were changeups, and there’s no telling how many of his fastballs were made more effective because of the change.

During this West Coast road trip, the Yankees have faced six starting pitchers with a 3.01 ERA or lower. They’ve seen some of the very best in the American League, but none has pitched as well as Sabathia, who’s allowed two earned runs in 16.2 innings.

“CC is amazing,” Alex Rodriguez said. “He’s been kind of a life-saver here for the last two or three years. He’s a guy that starts winning streaks for us and stops losing streaks. He did that last Sunday, and hopefully today was another example of that.”

 Cano actually said he wasn’t happy with the home run at-bat because it should have ended earlier with ball four. “Honestly I don’t like that at-bat because I swing at everything and the other slider was in the dirt,” he said. “So, that’s me chasing and swinging at everything, and that’s not where you want to be. You want to be able to just take those pitches and just take your walks and just swing at better pitches.”

 Rodriguez had not hit a home run since May 21, but during that drought he hit .378 with a .417 on-base percentage. “You always want to be productive,” Rodriguez said. “If that means home runs, RBIs, doubles, whatever it takes to help the team win. Over my career, the one thing I’ve never worried about is home runs. I’ve focused on being a good hitter, drawing my walks and being very productive for my offense.”

Girardi on the decision to leave Sabathia in for the ninth: “He was throwing the ball great. I didn’t see any reason to make a change. His pitch count was down which we usually see out of CC. He’s been on a roll.” Girardi said he didn’t want to Sabathia to face Aybar a fifth time, so he went to the closer.

 The Yankees tied their season high by moving eight games above .500. They’ve won 12 of their past 17 games.

The Yankees got their first one-run road win of the season.

Also, Rodriguez tied Mel Ott for ninth place on baseball’s all-time RBI list with No. 1,864. Rivera moved ahead of Goose Gossage for sole possession of 14th on baseball’s games pitched list with his 1,003rd appearance.

The Yankees have assured themselves a winning record on this road trip, but they’d like to win this series. “Tomorrow’s a big game,” Rodriguez said. “We have to come in here with a lot of adrenaline and hunger to finish off the trio. We haven’t accomplished anything, but for the most part the team has played a little better.

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