There was lots of RISP-fail on the Yankee bats at the beginning of the game, but fortunately CC Sabathia gave the team one of his strongest performances of the year. After being activated from the DL, CC returned tonight and pitched 7.1 innings of 4 hit and 1 run ball. At 100 pitches, Girardi pulled the ace with 9 strikeouts in game, and what looked like plenty of gas in the tank. For a rehab outing, this was far more than what was expected.
Only Nick Swisher had any luck driving in runners tonight, a new trend over the last couple of games. Fortunately, the #2 batter had Derek Jeter on base for his first inning double, and 7th inning go-ahead homerun. The Yankees’ shortstop also reached base a third time, where he was hit by a 97 mph fastball in the head. It was a scary moment, but Jeter took it like a champ. In a very rare moment, he had some very unkind words for rookie pitcher Corey Kluber.
Lastly, Rafael Soriano played with fire in the 9th inning. It wasn’t really his fault, as I’m noticing a huge number of groundballs get by the infield lately. Surprisingly, I wouldn’t blame the defenders, it looks like the team’s own defensive shifts are counter-productive, and leave us questioning why they aren’t in their standard positions. After watching the Rays win so many games, perhaps I’m just used to a team that does shifts so well. With that said, the Rays lost tonight, and with a Yankee victory, the team is back up to 3.5 games ahead in the AL East. The magic number is 34.
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