Third time’s a charm for Yankee ace CC Sabathia. After failing to convert his 20th win in his first two attempts, Sabathia delivered a strong seven inning performance against the O’s. Robinson Cano continued his run at the American League MVP bid with a 2 for 4 night which included his 28th homer of the year and his 100th and 101st RBIs. Nick Swisher returned to the starting lineup as the designated hitter and turned in a 2 for 5 performance, which included a big double, extending the Yankee lead to four. At the end of the game, the Yankees secured a 11-3 win while the Big Stoppa notched his 20th win of the year. The Tampa Bay Rays won in walk-off fashion, keeping the Yankee advantage at a half game. However, the Boston Red Sox lost tonight, lowering the Yankees magic number to 7.

Initial Reaction:

The Yankees set the tone right away in the first inning. Jorge Posada delivered a big two-out, two-RBI single to give the Bombers a 2-0 advantage. The Yankees were able to tack on additional runs in six of the remaining eight innings, capped off by Curtis Granderson’s ninth inning, three-run home run. Mentioned above, Nick Swisher returned to the lineup and delivered a multi-hit performance.

While the Yankee offense provided the punch, ace CC Sabathia stole the headlines with his 20th victory. This marks the first time in Sabathia’s career that he has reached the twenty win plateau. Sabathia’s start tonight wasn’t as dominant as the one he had at the Trop last week (eight innings, no runs), but CC gave the Yankees seven solid innings of three-run ball. That pesky Robert Andino registered the only two-multi base hits off of Sabathia. As of today, Sabathia record sits at 20-6 with a comfortable 3.05 ERA. Sabathia figures to get two, maybe three more starts during the regular season.

Positives From The Game:

CC=20

Granderson Central: Don’t look now, but Curtis Granderson is really starting to hit the ball. Through 16 September games, Granderson has four home runs, with 19 on the year. His highest HR output came in June when he smacked five round trippers. Granderson’s bat will be key come October.

Jeet: Marred in a horrible slump, the Captain went 2 for 3 tonight with two RBIs.

Negatives From The Game:

Berman? Hitting Third?: What the hell was Lance Berkman doing hitting third? I understand that Mark Teixeira is dealing with a plethora of injuries, but why should we just automatically slide Fat Elvis into Teix’s spot. Berkman is not the master of sending Teix Messages. He is the King of Rock, rocking and rolling back to the dugout that is. After banging out 13 total hits, Berkman’s 0 for 5 stuck out like a sore thumb. Slot Gardy in the #1, move Jeet to two, and let Swish Hawk hit three. Fat Elvis can hit like, eighth.

Interesting Facts:

20: CC Sabathia is the first pitcher to twenty wins this year. Roy Halladay and Ubaldo Jimenez have 19 wins each.

3×100=Success: This marks the first time in Yankee history that three infielders have 100 RBIs in the same year. Yay for Robbie, Mark, and A-Bomb.

85-90: The expected pitch output from Andy Pettitte tomorrow.

What’s Next?: The Yanks will go for the sweep tomorrow in good ole Baltimore. Good friend, Andy Pettitte will toe the rubber for the first time since July. This is a must-watch game for all you Yankee fans/fantasy football knuckleheads/NEC football lovers.

Sunday, 1:35 PM, YES: Andy Pettitte (11-2, 2.88 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman (1-4, 6.32 ERA)

Last Start:
Pettitte: Hasn’t started a game since July 18th
Tillman: ND, 6 2/3 innings, one run, four strikeouts

**Pettitte is 1-0 with a 2.18 ERA against the O’s this year.
**Tillman is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA against the Yankees this year.