Friday, May 8, 2009

Under Glare of A-Rod, CC Shines (Postgame Notes 08 May 2009)

Before the game, someone suggested that today's game was a re-do of Opening Day.

The Yankees were again in Baltimore, only this time they had Alex Rodriguez in the line up, and this time, hopefully, CC would pitch like he was being paid to pitch.

This time, it went as planned.

Perhaps even a little too much.

On his very first swing since coming off of the disabled list, Alex Rodriguez cranked a three-run home run to the left-field seats and the Yankees never looked back.

In his first major league start, Francisco Cervelli notched his first MLB hit and scored his major league run while doing all of the little things, such as throwing Adam Jones out at second in the bottom of the first, helping to keep the game scoreless. He had a hit, a sac bunt and a walk, as well. He will remember this night forever, no matter what else happens.

The big story of the game, however, was CC Sabathia.

In 113 pitches, he allowed four hits--two in the first and two in the ninth--and struck out eight over nine innings. At one point, CC had retired sixteen in a row.

It was exactly the pitching performance the Yankees had paid to get, and it could not have come at a better time.

Having lost five straight and having not had a lead since Saturday, the Yankees were in deperate need of a good pitching performance, not just in terms of hits allowed, but in terms of length as well, to rest an over-stretched bullpen.

CC did just that.

The Yankees can't get a do-over on the five games that came before, but it only takes one win, one game where the little things all go right and even when they don't (like Swisher getting picked off at third base with one out) it doesn't matter, to turn a season around.

Maybe this is it.