Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yankees notes after a Grand victory

Here are some postgame notes after a Yankees victory in Cleveland.

CC Sabathia said he’s been on a run better than this, which really gives some perspective to just how good he was during his short stint with the Brewers. After seven scoreless innings tonight, Sabathia has allowed a total of one run in his past three starts. During those 22.2 innings he’s struck out 33, walked five and extended his personal winning streak to five in a row.

“Milwaukee is still my best,” he said. “I don’t even know what happened. It was just one of those things… That was two and a half months. This has been three or four starts.”  I would say what happened is he was pitching in the National League, the offense isn't as good.

Sabathia’s ERA is down to 2.90 and he’s the first big league pitcher to reach 12 wins. It’s the second straight year that he’s had 12 wins before the all-star break, making him the first Yankees starter to do that since Tommy John in 1979-80.

“It’s as good a run as I’ve seen him have with us,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s been tremendous.”

Derek Jeter said he can’t help thinking about 3,000 hits because he hears about it every time he’s on-deck. Tonight, he said, fans were telling him to go 6-for-6. He told them he was trying, I can only imagine but he is good at not letting any pressure get to him.  He has been a cool customer his whole career and that is part of what makes Derek Jeter, Derek Jeter. 

Tonight Jeter pulled within four hits of No. 3,000. He’s had two four-hit games this season, so it’s not out of the question that he could do it tomorrow. Thing is, Girardi wants to give Jeter one day off — a full day off, not a DH day — before the all-star break. He doesn’t want his 37-year-old shortstop playing nine days in a row when he’s coming back from a calf injury.

Jeter, of course, wants to play.  He always wants to play and when he isn't it kills him, he doesn't know what to do with himself.  The three weeks off he had must of really been bothering  him. 

Granderson went deep twice tonight. That gave him 25 home runs for the season, which is one more than he had all last season. It’s five away from his career-high. As he’s always done, Granderson downplayed the surging home run totals. “They’ve just come a little bit quicker than they have in the past,” Granderson said.  It is amazing how he has transformed himself.  He was a good major league player and could of done nothing and been ok but you have to give him credit for changing things and they are working. 

 Granderson has four home runs in his past four games, a streak that came immediately after he went 14 games without a homer.

  One theory about Sabathia’s increased velocity: It’s finally gotten hot. Sabathia loves pitching in the heat. “I’ve been able to stay loose,” he said. “That’s a big thing for me. In between innings trying to stay loose and make sure I can keep sweating, and I think that’s a big part of my velocity.”

 Girardi was quick to give credit to Brett Gardner during his postgame press conference. That five-run second inning wouldn’t have happened without Gardner breaking up what would have been an inning-ending double play. His slide into second base was actually a pivotal moment in this game. “I got in there a little bit,” Gardner said. “Not like I do against some guys.” 

Jeter said it didn’t bother him that his first hit off the disabled list was dribbler that went for an infield single, but he did enjoy hitting the ball hard on that second-inning double. “I don’t care how I get hits,” Jeter said. “I have no ego whatsoever. It did feel good to hit a ball good. It’s the hardest ball I’ve hit in three weeks.”  That is pretty funny that he said that because he has an ego and a big one.  Part of the reason the contract was an issue in the winter is because of his ego. 

 Girardi said he’s still not sure whether Mariano Rivera will be available tomorrow. “He talked about being ready in case of emergency,” Girardi said. “I didn’t know what that emergency would be. When he said he still felt it a little bit, I said, ‘You’re off again today and we’ll see where we are tomorrow.’”

 Brian Gordon made his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre debut tonight and pitched five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Ivan Nova will make his first Triple-A start of the year on Thursday.  It is nice to have depth in AAA so you know who to call if something happens at the big league level.

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