I was in Los Angeles last week. Stayed in Hermosa Beach near the PCH. Driving everywhere was hard to get used to, but satisfying in a way. On one of those drives past a strip of indistinguishable donut and taco jernts, I spied CC Donuts. The kids were asleep in the back and otherwise unable to operate cameras, the wife was busy with something or another and I had a choice: whip out the phone and snap a pic while doing 45 in slightly dense traffic or let it go and deprive the Banter readers of the perfect picture for a CC shutdown start. I got that phone in my hands and started to look down away from the road, but then I thought better of it. I put the phone back down and watched the sign trickle past my peripheral vision. Meant to go back but never did.
So of course CC would be balls-out awesome in Cleveland tonight as he blitzed the Indians for seven shutout innings. His fastball was hard and always found uncomfortable locations. And his breaking stuff was filthy. David Cone mentioned in the booth that his sliders that were strikes started out looking like balls and the balls started out looking like strikes. It was a great observation, and it was all set up by the fear of the fastball. It made the hitters twitch early to protect against the heat and left them vulnerable for the slop. How vulnerable? Eleven whiffs, ten swinging. The Indians managed to get two runners on base three times, so CC responded by striking out the side in all three of those innings. That’s not shutting the door; that’s slamming it and breaking all their fingers.
The lineup went nuts tonight, making up for a two-game brown-out. Derek Jeter got two hits in his first two times at bat – a dribbler and a booming double. I became very excited because I am going to the game on Thursday and a big night tonight would make that game very interesting. Jeter got four more shots at making Thursday THE day, but came up empty. I figure he needs at least two more hits tomorrow to give me a chance in Hell.
Curtis Granderson continues his assault on my senses as he lined one homer and launched another and was pretty much running around the bases every time I looked up. He scored three times, the other Yankees scored six other times and strolled into the bottom of the ninth up 9-0. The Indians got a pair of garbage-time goals to make the final score 9-2.
CC Sabathia isn’t on the All Star team, and I guess I don’t really care and I know he wouldn’t pitch anyway. But if he’s not an All Star, what’s the point of the thing? Sure, maybe six other pitchers might have had slightly better starts to 2011, but ask the NL hitters if they’re happy or sad they don’t have to face him. I’d take Verlander, Beckett, Weaver, and CC and be pretty sure I got the best pitchers in the league. Oh well, maybe the Yankees can use his absence from the 2011 All Star team in their negotiations with him when he opts out of his contract. Maybe they can knock five bucks off the billions they’re going to pay him.