CC Sabathia threw a strong game against the Tigers on Monday night. He allowed four runs–one in the first, and three in the sixth–but pitched better than that. In fact, he only made a couple of mistakes all game long, including a hanging change-up that Magglio Ordonez barely punched over the right field wall. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. Problem was, Justin Verlander was even better and the ninth inning rolled around by 9:15, a virutally unheard occurance for the Yankees.
It was a tidy, efficient, and brisk pitcher’s duel. Verlander allowed back-to-back hits to start the eighth but the Yankees could not score against Bobby Seay. Robinson Cano led off the ninth against Fernando Rodney, lacing the first the pitch to the left center field gap for a double. He scored on a single by Nick Swisher, who advanced to third on a base hit by Melky Cabrera.
With runners on the corners, Jorge Posada came up as the pinch-hitter. He got tied up with an inside pitch and hit a weak grounder to the left side. Brandon Inge fielded it, tossed it to second, and the relay throw miraculously got Posada in time for the double play. That’s an exaggeration on my part, a slow-footed catcher pushing forty shouldn’t be expected to have the legs to beat out even a slow ground ball, but good gosh, Jorge!–it looksed as if he had seventy pounds of cement in his drawers.
A run scored but the rally was squarshed. Ramiro Pena flew out and the game was over before 9:30.
Final Score: Tigers 4, Yankees 2.
No two ways about it, right now, the Yankees are…lacking. Still, it was an encouraging start for Sabathia. No cause for panic, but if you are so inclined, why not do it right?