CC Sabathia was The Man once again, pitching strong into the ninth inning and picking up his 15th win, as the Yankees held off a late surge to defeat the Royals, 4-3.

AP Photo

Initial Reaction:

It turned out that the Yanks needed all the runs they scored. Curtis Granderson (new setup and all) drove in the first run with a solid single back up the middle in the second inning, then Mark Teixeira plated another in the third with a sac fly. Austin Kearns added to the lead with a solo homer in the fourth, and Alex Rodriguez tacked on one more in the seventh with a run-scoring ground out. Not much to write home about in what was a pretty dull night offensively. The Yanks had at least one runner reach base in each of the first eight innings and they went an ordinary 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The important thing is the Yanks didn’t get lethargic, and instead they applied pressure every inning and continued threatening to score.

Sabathia should rip through lineups like Kansas City’s, and that is exactly what he did tonight. Big Poppa had the fastball working tonight, topping out at 99.3 mph according to PitchFX. The Royals did collect ten hits off of him – but only two were hard hit (doubles by Alex Gordon and Wilson Betemit He consistently worked out of trouble all night, and never once appeared to be on the edge of giving up a big inning.

Positives From The Game:

Constantly threatening to score in every inning is huge, and to keep that going when you have 3-1 and 4-1 leads will sometimes make the difference in winning a ballgame.

Dap to Austin Kearns on his first Yankee homer.

One night after a four strikeout performance, Nick Swisher rebounded by going 3-for-4 with a walk. In fact the entire outfield trio came up big, combining to go 7-for-11 with two RBIs, two walks, and Kearns added the solo dinger.

Negatives From The Game:

Frankie Cervelli went 0-for-4 and saw just nine pitches total.

David Robertson made things interesting (a little too interesting) coming in to record the final out of the game, after CC recorded the first 26 outs. Robertson got his first save of the season, but not before giving up a two-run double and then a single to set up first and third with two outs. Robertson struck out Jason Kendall with a good breaking ball to record the biggest out of the night. But, it didn’t have to get to that.

Interesting Facts:

Sabathia is 11-2 in his past 14 starts.

The Yankees have won 32 of their past 43 games against the Royals.

Derek Jeter, who picked up two hits and came around to score twice tonight, is now hitting .324 dating back to July 18th, a span of 19 games.

What’s Next?:

Game two of this four game series will be played at 7:10 PM tomorrow.

Probables: Dustin Moseley (2-1, 3.86 ERA) vs. Kyle Davies (5-7, 5.21 ERA)

Let’s Go Yankees