CC Sabathia was absolutely electric for the Yankees tonight. He went eight innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out seven. Alex Rodriguez scored the only two runs for the Yanks as they took first game of this three game set, 2-1.

AP

Initial Reaction:

Both Sabathia and Vincente Padilla threw great games tonight. Padilla kept the Yanks off-balance all-night. Padilla featured a solid 93 MPH heater while mixing in a ‘Bugs Bunny’ off-speed pitch. The pitch clocked in at 55 MPH and appeared to have some sort of slow curve, so that was fun.

Once again, Mariano Rivera was great. He threw a perfect ninth inning, striking out Manny Ramirez and James Loney. Rivera now has 17 saves with a 1.00 ERA. Ironically enough, the man who bailed Joe Torre out of jams for 12 seasons sealed his fate tonight.

Positives From The Game:

A-Rod Leads: A-Rod had two of the Yankees three extra base hits tonight. His sixth inning solo blast off Padilla proved to be the decisive run for the Yanks.

Brush Him Off: Vince Padilla is notorious for his attitude. Padilla hit Mark Teixeira twice last season and hit Robinson Cano in the fourth inning tonight. An inning later, Sabathia responded by hitting Padilla in the foot with a pitch. After a ten second stare down, Padilla went to first base.

Down Goes Manny: In a historic showdown, Mariano Rivera struck out Manny Ramirez to start off the ninth inning.

Negatives From The Game:

Yankee OF: The outfield trio of Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher went 0 for 12 with four strikeouts.

Interesting Facts:

8 for 39: Manny Ramirez’s career line against Mariano.

Happy Birthday!: Technically, today is Derek Jeter’s 36th birthday.

No Hit, 2x: The Tampa Bay Rays were no-hit for the second time this season. The loss coupled with the Yankee win pushes the Rays three games back of first place.

What’s Next?:

Ah, AJ Burnett takes the hill tomorrow. There’s really no in between with Burnett. He’ll either pitch like Roy Halladay or Roy Rogers. Let’s hope the non-fast food guy shows up tomorrow.

Saturday, 7:10 PM, FOX: A.J. Burnett (6-6, 4.83 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 3.06 ERA)

Last Start:

Burnett: L, 4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 3 HR, 4 K, 2 BB @ Diamondbacks
Kuroda: L, 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 9 K, 1 BB @ Red Sox