CC Sabathia threw six shut-out innings before someone did a rain dance and held up the game for 57 minutes. A solo home run off the bat of Austin Kearns and a grand slam off the bat of Robinson Cano gave the Yanks a 5-0 lead before the rain delay. When the clouds opened and the rains let up, the Yankees added five more insurance runs. The Mariners never put up a fight and barely ever had a chance. Both Tampa Bay and Boston won Sunday, so the Yanks’ AL East lead remains at 1 over the Rays and 6.5 over the Red Sox.

The Big Fella does it again; AP

Initial Reaction:

Everything fell into place perfectly for the Yankees on Sunday. CC Sabathia had dominated the Mariners all season, had dominated everyone when pitching at home, and had been on a tear since June. So it was no surprise when CC turned in yet another Cy Young-worthy performance, going six strong innings, allowing three hits and no walks, while striking out eight and not allowing a hit until the fifth inning. He threw just 76 pitches, and the only thing that prevented him from going deeper into the game was the weather. The win was Sabathia’s 17th of the season, and his 10th at home.

In the fifth the Yanks and CC ran into a bit of trouble. Franklin Guttierez doubled down the left field line, and after a Casey Kotchman fly out, Adam Moore punched a single into right field. Nick Swisher came up throwing and gunned down Guttierez. Jorge Posada caught the ball, blocked the plate and seemingly tagged out the runner. Ump Sam Holbrook called the Mariners’ runner out at the plate, but replays showed that the score should have been tied at 1-1. The problem with the tag? There was no tag – Jorge had the ball in his right hand and tagged Guttierez with the empty glove. Jorge had enough time to put the ball in his glove and apply a proper tag, but Holbrook wasn’t in good position and Jorge sold the out.

With a slim 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth, with Swisher on third and Jeter on second, is it better to pitch to Mark Teixeira or walk him and face the Yanks’ cleanup hitter with juiced bases? The Mariners objected to the former and walked Teixeira, bringing Robbie Cano to the dish with the bases loaded. He proceeded to laugh at the Mariners’ ill-advised managerial strategies, then laugh louder at the dead-red changeup that he personally delivered 425 feet. Boom.

Cano would later add two more RBI later in the game, and Posada would add a solo homer late. Kerry Wood and Joba Chamberlain finished off the six-hitter by pitching a combined three innings of shutout ball.

Positives From The Game:

Cano’s 6 RBI in the clean-up spot with A-Rod out.

Hop on the Cy Young campaign. CC for CY

The Yanks were 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position, with Cano going 2-2.

Interesting Facts:

CC is undefeated in the Bronx (10-0) in 2010, with a 2.77 ERA and 81 strike outs in 91.1 innings. He has now won 15-straight home decisions, and he is now undefeated in his last 20 starts overall at home.

By holding the Mariners scoreless for six innings on Sunday, Sabathia set a Yankee franchise record of 16 consecutive starts of at least six innings and no more than three earned runs. CC broke a tie with Ron Guidry for the longest such streak in franchise history. Gator’s streak came during his Cy Young season in 1978.

This year, in 158 plate appearances before Sunday, Cano was batting .302/.405/.512 with runners in scoring position. Compare that to the line of .207/.242/.332 that he had last season.

The Yankees are now hitting .419 with the bases loaded this year, and Cano’s grand slam was the Yankees’ 10th of the season, tied for the most in franchise history for a single season.

What’s Next?:

The Yankees head for the Great White North to Toronto for a three-game set against the Blue Jays. The game starts at 7:07 PM in the east, in both America and Canada.

Probables: Ivan Nova (0-0, 0.00 ERA – first MLB start for the kid!) vs. Brandon Morrow (9-6, 4.45 ERA)

Let’s Go Yankees