Here are the postgame notes after the Yankees victory in Kansas City. Thanks to the Lohud Yankees Blog and Journal news beat reporter Chad Jennings. I as always add my insights.
A four-run lead in the ninth inning wasn’t exactly unfamiliar territory for
“That’s a situation I’ve been in before,” Robertson said. “It’s usually one
where, if I walk a guy, Mo comes in.”Of course, there was no Mo tonight. It was the first time CC Sabathia had
ever started a game for the Yankees without Rivera being on the active roster,
and it was a game the Yankees badly needed to win after a three-game losing
streak and the stunning news of Rivera’s injury.
In the clubhouse before the game, Rivera addressed the team.“He just said, ‘Don’t feel sorry for me, I’m going to come back’” Robertson
said. “‘We’re a good team, injuries happen, let’s turn it around, get stronger,
go from there." I think just him talking to the team was inspirational and made them feel better. I don't think anyone wanted to see Rivera end his career that way.
In a ninth inning worthy of the Yankees closer, Robertson struck out the side
— he joked that Rivera could have done it on eight pitches — and the mood in the
clubhouse was back to normal after the game. Truth be told, the mood was pretty
much back to normal before the game. Rivera made sure of that. When he showed up
today with a smile on his face and a comeback on his mind, a weight seemed to
have lifted. Robertson has been great this year and maybe he is ready to take over the closers role but their will be enourmous pressure on him, I think maybe the best thing to do is give it to Soriano and if he fails then go to Robertson.
“Everyone knows how hard Mo works,” Derek Jeter said. “It’s a challenge for
him. He’s going to accept that challenge, and he’s going to go out there and do
whatever it takes to get back on the field. It’s great for us to hear that, but
then again, we can’t sit around and wait for him.”
Tonight the Yankees began the process of moving on.
Sabathia was terrific. He’s won four straight and
pitched into the eighth inning each time. Tonight he gave up two runs in the
first, but pitched the next seven innings scoreless. “Just making sure that I
was getting the ball down with two strikes,” Sabathia said. “I left the ball up
to Alex Gordon and to Dyson (in the first inning). I was in good counts, just
not making pitches when I needed to.”
Sabathia really is an ace and a true workhorse.
The game hinged on the seventh inning. Bruce Chen was pitching well, but
Eduardo Nunez’s two-out, go-ahead triple seemed to spark the Yankees offense.
Chris Stewart added and RBI single before Jeter delivered the big blow with a
two-run homer. “I think (Nunez) put pressure on him,” Stewart said. “We started
to see some pitches, he started elevating some, and we took advantage of
Speaking of that seventh inning, the home run was Jeter’s fifth of the
season. He hit six all of last year. Jeter’s hitting .404 after another two-hit
game. “I don’t think about it one minute,” Jeter said. It is remarkable to think about and he leads the major leagues in hits.
Mark Teixeira hit his seventh home run in 20 at-bats
against Bruce Chen. He added a single off Chen later in the game. “It’s really
all about that I see him well,” Teixeira said. “There’s certain guys that you
just really see the ball out of their hand. You see their pitches break, you see
the spin. Other guys it’s the opposite. It doesn’t matter if they throw it right
down the middle. You don’t see it well, your timing’s off and they just own you.
That’s a lot of what baseball is all about is just timing and seeing the
Teixeira’s home run was his first since April 21. He has really struggled, hopefully for him and the team that will get him going.
Robertson said he wasn’t thinking about Rivera when he came into the ninth
inning. Not really, anyway. “I wouldn’t say I really thought about it, but I
knew I had to get three outs, finish the game,” he said. “Going to be like that,
I guess, from now until the end of the season. I can’t sit there and dwell on
it, just got to go out an throw as well as you can. That’s it. We don’t have him
anymore, and it stinks, it really does.” Robertson definitely has been affected majorly and in more ways then one with Mo being gone. You can see how much respect he has for him.
Rafael Soriano was getting loose in the eighth inning so that he could come
in if Sabathia got into trouble, but Girardi said his plan all along was to let
Robertson handle the ninth. “We wanted to get him a little experience in that
sense,” Girardi said. “But he also hadn’t worked in three or four days and you
like to keep your relievers going. We thought we’d get him in there.”
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