Call it a hometown celebration if you must. But being in the Bay Area tonight certainly did wonders for tonight’s starter CC Sabathia, who grew up in the area (and is still a big fan of non-baseball area sports teams). With about 100 of his personal guests cheering him on at the Coliseum, Sabathia went on to resemble shades of the ace pitcher that we all know and love and earn his 100th career win.
Sabathia threw 98 pitches through his 6 innings, giving up just 3 hits, a walk, and a run, and very nicely struck out 8 A’s batters. His only allowed run came in the bottom of the 2nd inning. With 2 outs and runners on base with his only allowed walk and a hit by pitch, a single scored the lead runner and put runners in scoring position. However, a simple bunt that Sabathia fielded successfully himself ended the A’s only inning under his command where they had a shot at something.
Kirby Yates came on for the 7th and 8th innings. In the 7th, with 2 outs, a single scored on an RBI double before Yates sailed through his next 4 outs rather efficiently. Chasen Shreve finished things off in the 9th inning. A really nice lead-off triple scored on a ground out before Shreve breezed through the final 2 outs to close out the game.
The Yankees, on the other hand, gave Sabathia enough run support to hand deliver him the win to match his excellent start. And that was thanks in part to Oakland’s less-than-crisp defense. Things started to get messy for Oakland (and good for the Yankees) in the 4th inning.
With 1 out, Hicks worked a walk and then moved all the way to 3rd don Gregorius’ single. They both scored on Ronald Torreyes’ triple to give the Yankees the lead. After Ellsbury reached 1st on his 5th catcher’s interference of the season, a wild pitch scored Torreyes and moved Ellsbury to 2nd. Then with Gardner on base with a walk, another wild pitch moved runners to scoring position so that Carlos Beltran’s double scored both of them and forced the A’s starter out of the game.
The new reliever got through the final 2 outs without allowing another run. Until the 6th inning, that is. He gave up a lead-off single to Gardner who then scored on Beltran’s RBI double. It’s not like the final pitcher for Oakland had an easier time against the Yankees’ batters. In the 9th inning, with 2 outs, Gregorius and Torreyes hit back-to-back singles and then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s triple to cap off the Yankees’ scoring.
Final score: 8-3 Yankees
It should be noted that the Yankees racked up 13 total hits and 6 walks off Oakland pitchers. But the key to their offense tonight was Carlos Beltran — his 3 doubles and 3 RBIs just tonight certainly show how Beltran is enjoying his temporary stint as the DH in Rodriguez’s absence. So many people are already connecting Beltran and Cooperstown, including Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson himself.
Scranton Shuttle: Activating Sabathia from 15-day DL tonight, the Yankees made the corresponding roster move by optioning pitcher James Pazos back to AAA Scranton. And just a few days after being DFA’d, Phil Coke was outrighted to AAA Scranton. Coke was hoping to stay with the Yankees, even willing to head back to Scranton, so it looks like he got his wish. And who knows… he might be back in the Bronx before you know it. It’s shaping up to be that kind of year.