CC Sabathia certainly threw a gem of a game in the “Emerald City” tonight in the middle game of this series against the Mariners. (I really wanted to get that pun out of the way quickly). Sabathia threw 101 pitches through 7 full innings, giving up just 3 hits, a walk, and the Mariners’ single run of the night, while striking out 7 batters. This was like vintage Sabathia for his 8th win of the season. His lone issue came in the 3rd inning when a 1-out triple scored on an RBI single (there’s 2 of those 3 hits) before the next batter hit into an unassisted double play by Mark Teixeira who also got the runner doubling off 1st. Teixeira makes those look easy sometimes.
Sabathia handed the game off to Tommy Layne who quickly shut down the Mariners in just 8 pitches in his 8th inning. Dellin Betances added 2 more strikeouts of his own in his 9th inning, hand-delivering the Yankees the win. There haven’t been many save opportunities for Betances as the wins have been too big (more than a 3-run difference), so he’s been getting almost standard bullpen work. Not that anyone is complaining as he’s still racking up his “innings pitched” and “strikeouts” statistics.
The Yankees certainly weren’t hesitating in the batter’s box, gathering 9 hits, 3 walks, and still swinging away at 10 strikeouts. In the 2nd, with 2 outs, Aaron Judge reached on a fielding error and later scored on Ronald Torreyes’ double to get the Yankees on the board first. Then with the game tied in the 5th inning, Torreyes led-off with a double and then was there to watch Jacoby Ellsbury’s big 2-run home run sail out of the park to give the Yankees the lead they’d never give back.
In the 6th, Teixeira led-off with a double, moved to 3rd on McCann’s ground out, and then scored on Judge’s sacrifice fly. Two singles and a stolen base later, the Yankees were looking to add to their score, but the Mariners perhaps wisely pulled their exhausted starter and the threat was quickly over. But then the Yankees wanted that insurance run in the 9th inning and saw their opportunity when Ellsbury ended up all the way at 2nd on another bad fielding error. He then scored easily on Didi Gregorius’ ground-rule double.
Final score: 5-1 Yankees.
Roster news: the Yankees placed pitcher Anthony Swarzak on the 15-day DL due to rotator cuff inflammation in his throwing shoulder. That is not good. In his place, they recalled reliever Ben Heller.
So the Yankees are looking at a rubber match tomorrow afternoon before heading home for a quick weekend series against the Orioles. They hit the road for a week to Kansas City and then Baltimore. Based on where Baltimore is in the standings, facing them two weekends in a row could either be incredibly helpful or incredibly harmful. I think you can guess which way I’m hoping they lean these next 10 days.