When you talk about sweeping the Sox as a Yankee fan, you’re probably more likely thinking about the Boston guys. But the “other Sox” let the Yankees sweep them this week. Actually both Sox franchises have quite a stories history, and one is primarily associated with the Yankees (the one coming in for a 4-game series tomorrow). But tonight, the other guys allowed the Yankees to make a run for the postseason, advancing further up the standings.
CC Sabathia started the game tonight and kept his game really under control into the 8th inning. 111 pitches, 5 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, and 3 earned runs. At first, the White Sox were only able to score a single run — an RBI double in the 1st inning. And then when CC let 2 singles get on base and only 1 out in that 8th inning, they opted for the ever reliable David Robertson. Except he wasn’t. Those 2 runners scored on 2 RBI singles, and a batter Robertson walked also scored on the second single. And after he finally recorded a second out, but then another run scored on yet another RBI single. And suddenly, the White Sox had 5 total runs.
So where else do you go but the guy who can still make it happen, even if it means 4 total outs? It’s Mariano Rivera.
Now, before Rivera can save a game, there has to be a game to save. To get there, the Yankees hit around the cycle as a team and added one insurance run (which turns out they needed it more than they probably initially thought). In the bottom of the 1st, to answer Chicago’s early score, Robinson Cano knocked his 203rd home run into Section 204 (just to the right of the Bleacher Creatures). Then in the 4th, Alex Rodriguez singles, Ichiro Suzuki reaches on a fielding error (no surprise with the White Sox defense lately), and Lyle Overbay doubles to score Rodriguez. And two batters later, Brett Gardner triples scoring Ichiro and Overbay. And (to complete the team’s cycle), it’s Cano who gets to single home Gardner. And their insurance run came when Derek Jeter (on base with a walk and advance to 3rd on a single) scores the 6th Yankee run because of Alfonso Soriano’s sacrifice fly.
(Reminder: a cycle is when a single batter hits a single, a double, a triple, and a home run all in the same game. So when watching how the Yankees, as a team, scored most of their runs, it just reminded me of that feat. It’s not really a thing, but I like the thought.)
Anyway, so Rivera comes on in the 8th, gets the final out there, returns for the 9th, and saves the game 3 batters later. His 41st save of the season. Sabathia keeps his win, rewarded for all that really great work. The sweep is a success. Now onto the next Sox.
Also worth noting in pitcher-land: Phil Hughes has been moved to the bullpen, and David Huff will take his scheduled start on Saturday. Disappointed perhaps but Hughes spent a good amount of time in the bullpen during the 2009 championship series and really proved himself worthy of the pinstripes there. Perhaps a little reminder of sorts will encourage him in his pitching. Also worth noting, Ivan Nova has been named August’s AL Pitcher of the Month because of his 4 wins, no losses, and 2.08 ERA. We don’t call him “SuperNova” for nothing.