CC Sabathia needed another good outing, and in today’s middle game against the Athletics in this weekend series, he did just that. Sabathia threw 96 pitches into the 7th inning, giving up 6 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs, and striking out an impressive 9 Oakland batters. Remember when I said that I was trying to get used to Sabathia as not predominantly a strikeout pitcher? Yeah, forget I said that.
Sabathia kept the A’s from scoring all the way until the 6th inning. With 2 outs, Sabathia gave up a walk who then scored on an RBI double. The next batter hit a pop-up into shallow right field that Starlin Castro had trouble keeping in his glove and sort of popped it over to a waiting Aaron Judge for the final out of the 6th inning. Then, Sabathia gave up a 1-out solo home run in the 7th followed by a double, and that was it for his outing. Sabathia exited the game to a standing ovation from the crowd.
It would Adam Warren’s turn to keep Oakland at just those 2 runs, despite a runner in scoring position. He succeeded before turning the game to Tyler Clippard for the 8th inning. Clippard continued his struggles from last night, allowing 2 base runners with just 1 out made. So the Yankees opted for Dellin Betances for a 5-out save. And Betances was certainly on-point today, making those needed 5 outs with a stellar 3 strikeouts (bringing the grand total of 14 strikeouts by Yankee pitchers today).
As strong as Sabathia was today, he certainly had met his match in the A’s starter, who up until the 6th inning himself was running a no-hitter. That’s not to say that the Yankees didn’t get on base at all or score. Thanks to the wonder that is walks and a hit-by-pitch. In the 1st, with 1 out, Gary Sanchez worked a walk and ended up at 2nd when Matt Holliday was hit by a pitch (no, it wasn’t intentional, it was only the 1st inning). A wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position, and Castro’s sacrifice fly scored Sanchez for the 1st run of the game.
Then with the game tied in the bottom of the 6th and 2 outs, Sanchez worked another walk to get on base, and this time Holliday hit a big 2-run home run to put the Yankees in the lead. And that would be the first allowed hit all day from the Oakland starter. He gave up a second hit, a single to Castro on his 107th pitch, before he was replaced by the A’s bullpen who refused to give up another hit all afternoon and kept the Yankees at just 3 runs scored.
It would be enough. Barely. But it’s not by how many runs you win in this game; it’s just that you score the most.
Final score: 3-2 Yankees.
As if the weird Castro-Judge pop-out glove thing wasn’t odd enough for this game, the Yankees certainly entertained with some more rather odd plays. Well, Oakland learned today that “you don’t run on Gary” when Sanchez fired to 2nd from his knees to get a runner stealing 2nd in the 2nd inning. (When will they learn?)
In the 7th, Aaron Judge and Chris Carter collided catching an out in foul territory as Castro watched. The collision knocked Judge’s sunglasses and hat off and found Carter on the ground, but the ball was snugly in Judge’s glove as everyone dusted themselves off. Everyone was okay, but aren’t they supposed to call these things? I mean, that’s what they teach you all the way back in tee-ball.
And finally, Dellin Betances has always been known as a flame-thrower, so it’s no surprise they’re might be a little side effect on the receiving end every now and then. Including having part of Sanchez’s catching glove go flying off. It was the part on the back side of the webbing that braces the hand within the glove.
Then you have to add in a couple of Oakland ejections for arguing the strike zone. Which wasn’t really good, but at least it was consistent for both teams and for the entire game. Well, it certainly kept things interesting.
Even with the ugly camo caps and lettering fill (that for obvious reasons worked better with the normally green and yellow Oakland grey uniforms than with the Yankees pinstripes), it was an overall good day for a ball game in the Bronx. The camo decor served a few purposes. It’s Fleet Week in New York, so the stadium was filled with sailors on leave, and it’s also Memorial Day weekend. A big thank you from us to all veteran and active duty service members and their families for their sacrifice for our country.