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Sabathia pumps his fist after ending the 7th with a strikeout of Mike Napoli (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)In the previous two postseasons, CC Sabathia went 1-3 in four starts with a 9.47 ERA and 2.32 WHIP. It seems clear now that his struggles were due to exhaustion. In 2007, Sabathia threw a major league leading 241 regular season innings. That was nearly 50 more innings than he had thrown the previous year, and 31 more than his previous career high. In 2008, he threw a dozen more innings than in 2007 and pitched on three-days rest in his last three starts in September.

This year, Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland never once asked Sabathia to start on short rest during the season and gave him an extra day or two of rest before 12 of his 34 starts. Sabathia finished the year with “just” 230 innings pitched. As a result, his postseason line after two starts looks like this: 14 2/3 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 15 K, 1.23 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 2-0.

The Yankees got two runs in the bottom of the first of Game One of the ALCS Friday night thanks to a pair of defensive miscues by the Angels, who played a sloppy game on a frigid night in the Bronx. Sabathia made those two runs stand up for eight innings, and Mariano Rivera closed the door in the ninth, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the series. That’s really all you need to know, but here are the details.

After Sabathia pitched around a two-out single by Torii Hunter in the top of the first, a hit that would prove to be one of just four Sabathia allowed on a night in which just five Angels reached base, Derek Jeter led off the bottom of the first with a classic opposite-field single off John Lackey. Johnny Damon, who went 1-for-12 in the Division Series against the Twins, but spent the layoff in between series working on his swing with hitting coach Kevin Long, particularly on reducing his head movement, followed with an opposite field single of his own, dropping a hit down near the left-field foul line. Ex-Yankee Juan Rivera gathered up the ball, but his throw to second was off-line, allowing Damon to move to second. After Mark Teixeira flew out to shallow left, Alex Rodriguez lifted a sac fly to center to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead. Lackey then got Hideki Matsui to pop out behind third, but shortstop Erick Aybar didn’t hear third baseman Chone Figgins tell him to take the ball and it fell in between the two of them for what was absurdly ruled a single as Damon scored the second Yankee run of the inning.

That was all Sabathia would need. In the top of the fourth, Vlad Guerrero hit what looked like a home run to the visiting bullpen in left center, but the ball hit off the Plexiglas wall and Guerrero, in his home run trot, cruised into second with a double. He later scored on a Kendry Morales single, but that was the only run the Angels managed all night. Sabathia didn’t give up another hit the rest of the night, retiring 13 of the next 14 Angel batters (the exception being a walk to Morales in the seventh).

Meanwhile, the Yankees added some insurance runs. Damon led off the fifth with a double and scored on another by Matsui. Alex Rodriguez walked in between the two and ran through a stop sign to try to score on Matsui’s hit. The throw beat Rodriguez to the plate, but despite an awkward collision, catcher Jeff Mathis never actually tagged him. Nonetheless, Alex was ruled out and no one argued the call. It was just as well, he should have obeyed his third base coach (Alex admitted his mistake after the game, saying he had put his head down too early), and the run wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game.

In the sixth, Melky Cabrera, another ALDS scuffler who had a good night, going 1-for-2 with a pair of free passes, walked, moved to second when Lackey’s attempted pick-off throw dove into the runner and got past Morales at first base, then scored on a single to center by Jeter. Jeter’s hit took an unexpected hop on Torii Hunter in center, getting past Hunter and allowing Jeter to go to second, but the extra base proved moot. Nonetheless, it was the Angels third error of the game (and should have been their fourth).

Pitching in relief of Lackey in the seventh, righty Jason Bulger loaded the bases with two outs on a pair of walks and a pitch that hit Robinson Cano in the ankle, but both the HBP and the jam left no lasting results as Nick Swisher struck out to end the threat.

Sabathia worked eight full, throwing a reasonable 113 pitchDerek Jeter congratulates Sabathia after the 7th inning (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)es and striking out seven. Rivera came on in the ninth and, after a leadoff walk to Hunter, locked down the 4-1 win. The Yankees take a 1-0 lead in the series and are looking sharp and smart with CC still on schedule to pitch twice more in this series should it reach seven games.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

Tags:  2009 Playoffs  ALCS

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 17, 2009 12:47 am

Pretty much exactly how you would draw it up. Keep the line moving AJ,

2 williamnyy23   ~  Oct 17, 2009 1:46 am

Great job by C.C....was at the game and the best part was the echoing chants of C.C. in the 7th. Some of the missed opportunities were a little frustrating (does anyone swing at more 2 strike pitches in the dirt than Swisher?), but C.C. really kept things relatively calm. Hopefully AJ can do the same tomorrow.

3 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 17, 2009 1:48 am

[2] Hey! I forget where you were sitting, LF bleachers..?

I am worried about AJ pitching in the cold rain, and we can't count on the Angels playing Keystone Kops in the field again..

4 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 17, 2009 1:58 am

I think someone mentioned earlier but..if tomorrow is rained out, do they play Sunday then fly back for Monday afternoon in LA?

5 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 3:13 am

what a great game and terrific win! i heard the CC chants and strikeout of Napoli in the car, on the way to the gig (which was also great!). i watched the rest of the game from my drum throne and couldn't stop smiling.

let's do it again tomorrow!


6 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:57 am

[3] I think if AJ gets flustered by the weather, the Angels might as well.

7 OldYanksFan   ~  Oct 17, 2009 8:09 am

Joe Saunders: 4.60 ERA, 16-7, 1.43 WHIP
If would be nice if AJ shows up today, but this game should be on our offense. We should be able to beat up on Joe pretty good.

8 The Mick536   ~  Oct 17, 2009 9:43 am

I don't accept apologies from anti-semites. What are they apologizing for--saying it or thinking it? You can never apologize loudly enough or sincerely enough. Next, Howard Rubenstien will tell us that the fat tenor has many Jewish friends or that he was tired and didn't know what he was saying. I shudder to think that if "Invention of Lying" were about what people feel about Jews what a stir it would cause.

All I ask for is that they don't allow prayer during the seventh inning stretch anymore. God Bless America was not designed as a warm up for Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

9 monkeypants   ~  Oct 17, 2009 10:10 am

[8] All I ask for is that they don’t allow prayer during the seventh inning stretch anymore.

Interesting...you (b>ban religious expression. So if, say, the occasional nun who attends a ballgame crosses herself or busts out the rosary during a tight spot in the game, you would have security throw her out of the park? Surely you meant to say that you "ask that they don't actively promote or compel prayer by the singing of a religiously charged patriotic song during the seventh inning stretch."

10 monkeypants   ~  Oct 17, 2009 10:19 am

[8] I don’t accept apologies from anti-semites.

The more important question is what constitutes being an anti-semite? Is it possible for a person to make an insensitive remark unknowingly, or to intentionally make an off-color joke without being, intrinsically and unforgivably, bigoted?

In this case, did Tynan make his comment in an extremely poor attempt at sarcasm or irony, or did he let slip what he really felt? Or is there no difference?

Randy Newman wrote a song called "short people" whose lyrics were obviously an ironic attack on bigotry. And yet he was accused of being prejudice against short people. And for that he should not ever be forgiven?

I'm not defending Tynan per se. I'm just a bit put off by the willingness of folks to announce that individuals--any individual--can never be forgiven, can never make amends, for their wrongs. What's next? That we bring back scarlet letters, exile colonies and the like?

11 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 17, 2009 10:54 am

I think the Angels will get to AJ today. My hope is that the Yanks do the same to Saunders and end up winning a wild one, 9-7 or something like that.

12 monkeypants   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:04 am

[11] I just hope that Molina has a big day.

13 The Hawk   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:05 am

Yes I feel an AJ meltdown coming.

14 monkeypants   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:06 am

[11] Of course, if the Angels get to AJ, then by definition Molina will not have performed primary function.

15 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:15 am

I feel a Sunday game coming honestly

16 seamus   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:19 am

what is the latest forecast? I wouldn't mind a sunday game personally. Just because I can't watch tonight.

17 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:21 am

Via the National Weather Service:

Tonight: Rain. Low around 40. Breezy, with a northeast wind between 16 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Sunday: Rain. High near 48. Breezy, with a north wind around 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Sunday Night: A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a low around 41. North wind between 14 and 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

18 seamus   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:25 am

[17] ah thanks. So basically, you might as well try and play saturday because sunday ain't much better!

19 monkeypants   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:25 am

Yeah...newstadiuminsider.blogspot.com paints a similarly bleak picture for getting a game in, even on Sunday. I don't why they don't bump the game up earlier today. Then a again, I don't why they insist on scheduling the playoffs so damn late in the year.

20 seamus   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:25 am

[18] or, of course, reschedule the whole damn series.

21 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:35 am

yesterday was the 6th anniversary of the Aaron Boone game. Which got me to thinking, in 2003 October 16th was Game 7 of the ALCS...in 2009 it was Game 1 of the ALCS.

Which brings me to my point...this is all the World Baseball Classic's fault.

22 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:47 am

[21] Bud really does suck.

23 seamus   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:55 am

woo hoo! I have heat!!

24 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 17, 2009 11:58 am

[22] I have a love/hate thing with Bud, but I truly hate the WBC with every fiber of my being.

Someone's gonna end up breaking their leg and missing the season one of these days because they were playing an exhibition against Australia in front of 15,000 people in Miami on March 10th...but thats ok because we're making baseball a global game!!

25 Diane Firstman   ~  Oct 17, 2009 12:52 pm
26 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 17, 2009 1:25 pm

[25] the whole "Yankee Stadium is too expensive for Joe Sixpack!!11" meme is the go-to topic for marginally talented columnists with absolutely nothing creative to say about anything pertaining to baseball.

There were empty seats last night...there were also a ton of seats for sale on Stubhub for below face value. Plenty for well under $100. Of course this doesn't jibe with the overwrought idea of "greedy owners in the ridiculous stadium with the bourgeois fans." Ok, slow down there Trotsky...theres plenty of bread and circuses for everybody.

I rant about this only because its just such patently false bullshit. I went to about 17 games this year and never once paid more than $30 for my ticket. But what do I know? I must just be boojie or something.

27 RIYank   ~  Oct 17, 2009 1:47 pm

I know it's not really Banter style music, but Amazon has a free Phillip Glass sampler.

I made a tinyurl for it but for some reason wordpress won't let me post it here.

28 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 17, 2009 2:05 pm

according to the radar projection at weather.com (weather channel) the rain's not expected in the Bronx until about 10pm. But the forecast says 60% chance at gametime, increasing to 70% through the evening. In other words, they don't know exactly when the tarp will be dragged out.
I say 75% chance they get the game in, with a 99% chance of Molina.
I'll also give you the oddly precise 67% chance of Good AJ.

29 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 17, 2009 4:08 pm

not for nothin, but it's 4:07 on the island of Manhattan and I am yet to see a drop of rain today. This game very well could have started at 1:05 and there wouldn't have been a single problem weather-wise other than the cold.

30 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:18 pm

[23] congrats, bro!

[24] i, too, hate the WBC

[27] philip glass is excellent! very cool, thanks so much for that bit of 411! i'm not down w/ mp3's though. i wish they'd just mail me a real CD for free! : ) i like philip glass, terry riley, steve reich, et al.

i agree with our fearless leader that AJ will probably suffer a meltdown. i can't imagine him getting a good grip/feel for his curve. i'll take a wild game, with the Yanks coming out victorious. i really think we need to go up 2-0 here.

i do hope the game is tonight. i already played my gig this afternoon, so work is done. i might practice for a little bit, still undecided. but i'm off tonight and really wanna watch the game and down a few beers. ok, several beers. many beers. fuck it...ALL the beer! i'd rather not watch the game hungover tomorrow. be nice to just stare blankly at the NL contest...

31 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:20 pm

[23] when i got home from my gig a little bit ago, i turned on the tv to see the penn state score. the game is on espn and as soon as i tuned in, the announcer says: "it has just begun to rain here in State College." what a shocker! hell, i'm surprised it ever stopped raining from the time i got there in 1991!!! ; )

32 seamus   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:24 pm

[31] i'm laughing about it right now. Western/central PA just gets pounded with rain/snow whenever feasible. i kind of like it. it can get you down at times (all the damn gray) but it has a certain charm to it. oh hell, you won't see me dressed like an eskimo to play ball in october! Of course, that may be because i completely suck. Anyhow, glad your gig is done for the day! My friend got sick and cancelled her Pittsburgh trip so I'm in house for the game. I've already started drinking though thanks to ND-USC football! By the time AJ walks his 8th batter i'll be completely wasted!

33 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:32 pm

[32] good for you, bro! i'm *always* cold, so i'm bundled up all the time, regardless of the weather!

glad you'll get to watch the game and are already medicating. i need to time myself, so i'll start late. whachya drinkin'? i'm always with my old standby - sierra nevada pale ale. when i'm home, it's in a Penn State pint glass.

i don't know why i'm watching the PSU game, but i am. i really dislike college football. but it's nice to see my nittany lions. : )

34 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:34 pm

From LoHud:

Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera could all be stretched to four or five outs tonight if need be. The off-day gives them that luxury, Girardi said.

also, there'll be a pow-wow at 7pm to discuss playing tonight.

i hope it's GAME ON!!!

35 seamus   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:37 pm

[33] hey, i love college football. I'm drinking Brooklyn ales. Saving the pennant ales for tonight!! 2 down. many to go! Sierra Nevada is a good choice.

36 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:42 pm

[35] i liked college football for a minute back in the mid-90's, but that's about it. that said, i remember being a little kid in NY and watching Penn State in 1982 and i liked them. cool, classy uniforms and stuff. little did i know that a decade later, i'd be in school there!

Brooklyn is good stuff. it's my bass player's favorite beer...

if i'm up in State College next summer, you'll have to make the trek to drink with us! : )

PSU driving...

37 joe   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:53 pm

Hey guys, I saw a pretty good pic that should clear up whether or not Tex's food left the bag:


38 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:57 pm

[37] yeah, i think that's linked above at "Cliff's Latest Tweet" from the RAB folks! good stuff. it was clearly the correct call.

Tex Rox!!!

39 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 5:57 pm

[37] i hate seeing all those empty seats there though. : (

40 RIYank   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:09 pm

[30] Dude, get the mp3s and then burn your own CD! Problem solved!

Do you know that I have never listened to a CD in my life? True fact. Vinyl or mp3s only.

41 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:17 pm

[40] i know, but you have to remember - i am an idiot who is VERY technologically challenged! also, there's a problem with the cd drive in my laptop, as far as burning discs goes...

i only listen to 10" vinyl and 8 tracks, period end of. the rest, is against my religion dietary preferences! ; )

42 seamus   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:30 pm

[36] if you are in state college, we're drinking!!

43 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:36 pm

RIYank, great stuff about the Phillip Glass. thelarmis, I dig Steve Reich and Terry Riley too, it took awhile but now especially love "Music for 18 Musicians" by Reich (is that the right title??)

I got to miss the game too! So I ask for RAIN!!

44 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:40 pm

[42] penn state just won 20-0! cool man, it'd be July or August, if it happens. looks like i'm gonna have to be in Philly end of June, so that might throw a crimp into the PSU visit, we'll see. but it'll happen!

[43] that title sounds familiar! the only Steve Reich CD i have, is called "Drumming." shocker, i know. now, if we're talkin' Sacred Reich, well...i have their entire catalog! : )

45 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:43 pm

[44] You got #44, Reggie my man!
"Drumming" is awesome, a real classic. Yesterday afternoon in my local jazz cafe the owner was showing me some pics from his time in NYC in the 1970s, a Great in-action photo of Roy Haynes behind the kit was one of them, you would have loved it.

46 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:48 pm

[45] Roy Haynes is the last living legend of all those guys. he's an amazing drummer and a super cool cat (from what i can tell, i've never met him...)!

47 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:53 pm

Man, can you believe that MLB has to consult with FOX about rescheduling the game? I know TV money is everything but still..so if the game is postponed tonight, they'll play at 4:30EST (5:30am for me!) tomorrow..so I either miss today's game, or get up at 5:30 Monday to watch..I vote for 5:30!

48 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:58 pm

[47] seems like they're gonna play tonight. Tino to throw out the 1st pitch. i think i'm a-gonna try and duck out for a quick power nap before the game...

49 thelarmis   ~  Oct 17, 2009 6:59 pm

Izturis for Kendrick

Napoli for Mathis

50 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Oct 17, 2009 7:02 pm

[49] So Sciosia gets it about Mathis then..no way in hell he would hit AJ (at best get a gift walk)..
Enjoy the nap, if they start on time I can catch the first 2 innings or so, then it's off to a stakeout!

51 RIYank   ~  Oct 17, 2009 7:19 pm

if they start on time I can catch the first 2 innings or so,

I'm pretty sure they're going to let Molina do it.

52 The Mick536   ~  Oct 18, 2009 12:36 pm

[9] I did mean to say what you said.

[10] No comparison between Randy Newman's song and Tynan's comment. Many short people can take some heat about their size. Ever hear a blind person tell a joke about non seeing? Jews, except some who are self-hating, believe it can happen again. It is just hard to tell who will pull the trigger or release the gas.

Just for fun, tell me how being from Boston brings Jews to mind? The joke was that because he is so identified with the Yankees, he buys into the hateful part of the rivalry, the part that leads the Faithful to chant Yankees suck at games other than the ones where they are actually in the park, and may not want to live next to a Sox fan. He denied that his 7th inning singing role made him such an avid fan that it would be a problem. He missed the joke and then got serious.

Its never funny.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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