Browsing Posts tagged CC Sabathia

Who counted out the Bronx Bombers? Winners of nine consecutive games, the Yankees should be in everyone’s MLB picks.  There’s nothing quiet about the city of New York and now our baseball team is fulfilling its unbeatable potential. Nine straight games? You better believe it.

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When the Yankee bullpen is taxed, Joe Girardi knows that CC Sabathia has the ability to deliver lengthy, quality outings. In the rubber game of a three-game set against Tampa Bay, Big C just did that. Sabathia gave the Yanks eight innings of two run ball, striking out ten Rays, resulting in a 5-2 Yankee win. Sabathia threw 120 pitches and looked really dominant for the first time this season. Rafael Soriano closed it out, picking up his first save of the season. David Robertson wasn’t available as he threw the previous two nights. 

I didn’t write about David Roberston’s first blown save last night because in reality, it’s not a big deal. Robertson gave up his first earned run since last August (!!) and some growing pains are expected as he transitions to the ninth. I’m not here to make excuses for him, but Robertson threw 30 pitches the night before and will need time to get adjusted to the ninth inning. In addition, I tweeted a fun fact about one Yankee closer last night—

In 1997, Mariano Rivera blew two of his first four save opportunities as ‘The Man’

Despite initial struggles, Mariano hasn’t had that bad of a career (LOL). Lay off Roberston–he’ll be fine as the new Yankee closer. He has the best stuff in the bullpen and his strikeout rate is Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen-esqe. 

Overall, I’ll take two out of three against Tampa Bay every time. This weekend, the Mariners will come in for three games. The Yankees will get to see their old pal, Felix Hernandez tomorrow night as well. Jesus Montero will make his 2012 Bronx debut in a Seattle Mariner uniform. 

Entering this season, the Yankees had seven viable arms for only five rotation spots. After Michael Pineda’s injury, Freddy Garcia’s demotion, and the erratic pitching of Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees have some serious questions. Outside of CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova, the Yankees don’t have any reliable options. Andy Pettitte is a week or so away from joining the rotation, but through 21 games, the Yankees’ pre-season strength has now become a concern. Entering Monday, the Yankees are 12-9 and current sit 1.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the East. Granted, the Orioles seem to start strong every season, but Yanks need some quality starts this week. David Phelps is set to join the rotation and will make his first start on Thursday.  

With 141 games to go, the Yankees will find a happy medium with their rotation and the Yankee offense will help offset any poor starts. The Yankees are currently third in baseball with 112 runs scored and the offense will continue to be this team’s strength. We all know that championship aspirations live and die in the post-season and those post-season runs start and end with starting pitching. The Yankee rotation will take form as the season goes, but so far, this team’s strength is now an apparent weakness. 

For the last few days, people have tried to shoot holes in the Yankees acquisition of Michael Pineda. Some will argue that Pineda, a pitcher who collected 34 percent of his outs via the flyout, will suffer going from spacious Safeco Field to the banbox in Yankee Stadium. Others will argue that Pineda’s second half ERA (5.12) proves he can’t handle a full workload. Instead, critics fail to address Pineda’s lefty-righty splits. Before unpacking the numbers and presenting my argument, Pineda, a fastball-slider pitcher, must develop a reliable third pitch to justify his value and more importantly–solidify his slot behind CC Sabathia

Pineda Needs A Third--AP Photo

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He’s baaaack. Ok, he never really left.

CC Sabathia and the Yankees agreed to a contract extension tonight, hours before the burly lefty had declare whether he was opting out of his contract. I won’t get into the details, but the Yankees basically tacked on an addition year with a team option for another in 2017. He’s making Cliff Lee money (5-year, $122 million) and he’s staying in NY. That’s all we really care about.

The Yankees re-signed CC and picked up Swisher’s and Cano’s options this weekend. Cano’s $14 million option was more of a formality, but Swisher’s $10.25 million option was debatable. Swisher stinks in the playoffs, but he’s a good guy to have around (and he’s a World Champion). The Yankees must think he’ll outproduce that contract next year.

Overall, it was a good day for the Yanks. They don’t have to worry about any media backlash, the Phillies can’t try to get cute with CC, and the Yankee rotation will not be led by Bartolo Colon next season.

It’s no secret that CC Sabathia can (and will) opt out of his Yankee contract in nine days. The burly lefty, who could be entering the fourth year of his, seven-year, $161 million deal, has been the definition of consistent. Since 2007, Sabathia has won at least 17 games, struck out 197 batters, and had an ERA under 3.37 in each of those five seasons. Sabathia recently turned 31 years old and is one of the game’s durable, left-handed aces. However, Sabathia had issues with his weight during the second half of the season and was ineffective during the playoffs. With that being said, is there any way that the Yankees could let Sabathia walk once he opts out?

Jigga W/ CC--AP Photo

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In the match-up of aces, only one truly stood out. And he’s your 2011 Cy Young Award winner.

Bottom line, Justin Verlander is good at throwing the baseball. The Tigers’s ace struck out eleven Yankees over eight innings to earn his first win of the post-season. His counterpart, CC Sabathia, struggled through 5.1, walking six. Both Verlander and CC allowed four runs,but Delmon Young’s seventh inning home run off Rafael Soriano put the Tigers ahead for good. Jose Valverde came on to record his second save of the series as the Tigers won, 5-4.

We Are Gonna Get To This Clown--AP Photo

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The Yankees put on their ‘Clinch Day’ caps early this afternoon with a 4-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees followed up that 4-2 victory with another 4-2 victory in the night cap of the double header. Robinson Cano had a big two-run double in the first game and Jorge Posada had a clutch RBI single in the night cap. With the wins, the Yankees are officially your 2011 American League Champions. More importantly, the Yankees magic number for home field advantage is 3 with seven games to go!

Those are some UGLY hats...-AP Photo

Game Notes:

Game 1

-Big props to the Yankee bullpen for this one. Phil Hughes was a late scratch with a tight back. Joe Girardi was forced to scramble to put together a piecework stream of relievers. Well, Joe pushed the right buttons as the Yankee relievers only allowed two runs to a desperate Tampa Bay team. Mo came in in the ninth to lock down his 45th save and a Yankee playoff berth. 

-Major props to Eduardo Nunez. With the Yankees trailing James Shields and the Rays 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Nunie crushed a deep home run knotting the game up. Five hitters later, Robinson Cano blasted a two-run double off the center field wall. Clutch hitting baby. It’ll win us games in October.

Game 2

Big C got the start in Game 2. Sabathia hasn’t been great since his rain delayed start against the Seattle Mariners when he flirted with a perfect game. Nonetheless, the big man came out and threw 7.1 innings of two-run ball. He didn’t get his elusive 20th win and wasn’t exactly dominant, but gave the Yanks a good start. I’m not crazy with him throwing 130 pitches a week before the playoffs start, but I guess that’s baseball, Suzyn.

Jorge Posada had the big knock in this one. With the bases load, Jorgie stepped to the dish with the bases loaded and delivered an RBI single to right field in the eighth inning. Jorge’s hit was the game winner for the Bombers.

What’s Next?: The Yanks will go for the four-game sweep tomorrow against the Rays. The Rays are still only two games behind the Red Sox in the AL Wildcard race. Boston has been stinking up the joint against the O’s this week so these games matter. Let’s just sweep away the Rays and keep getting fat off our wins. 

Thursday, 7:05PM: Jeff Niemann (11-7, 3.95 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (8-9, 3.81 ERA)

The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the New York Yankees tonight by a final score of 5-4. It seems like the Yankees have made a bad habit of losing one run games late recently, so hopefully this slide will end in late September, when the Yankees will be preparing for a late-season run at the World Series while the Mets are making tee times in St. Petersburg.

I agree, Derek - AP

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Coco Crisp went 4 for 4 with two runs as the A’s edged the Yanks, 6-4 in ten innings. CC Sabathia gave way to a game tying single in the eighth before Rafael Soriano gave up a three-run bomb in the tenth to effectively end the game. Nick Swisher homered twice and Teix added a message of his own, but it wasn’t enough as the A’s have won this series against the Yanks.

Outside of Crisp’s RBI single in the eighth, Sabathia was effective tonight. He struck out seven over seven innings and walked one. It’s tough to see the Big Man blow a two-run lead in the eighth, but that’s baseball, Suzyn. 

The Yankees will try to avoid the three-game home sweep tomorrow afternoon. Daytime special, folks!

Thursday, 1:05PM: Rich Harden (3-0, 3.91 ERA) vs. Phil Hughes (4-4, 5.74 ERA)