Monday, April 28, 2008

Big Win Tempered by Posada Injury

The Yankees won by the book this afternoon- a strong outing by their starting pitcher, and Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera to close things out. But most of the talk after Chien-Ming Wang's masterpiece win, 1-0 over the Cleveland Indians, was about the possible long term loss of catcher Jorge Posada.

Earlier in the day a published report in the NY Times stated that an MRI had shown Posada had a tear in his subscapularis muscle of his right shoulder. But after the game Joe Girardi vehemently denied that any such MRI had taken place.

He did admit though that Posada will be heading to Atlanta to see Dr. James Andrews, the world renowned orthopedic specialist. The Yankees never would have designated Chad Moeller for assignment had they realized Posada was headed to the disabled list. Moeller cannot return to the team unless he passes through waivers. In the meantime, the Yankees will likely call up veteran back up Chris Stewart from Scranton to take Posada's spot on the roster.

The game itself was an excellent pitcher's duel between Wang (5-0), a 19-game winner a year ago, and the reigning AL CY Young Award winner, C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia (1-4) had struggled through his first four starts, three of them losses. But after throwing a strong 6 innings in his previous start, Sabathia was overpowering in his 8-inning stint on Sunday. But Wang was even better.

With his sinker hitting its mark, Wang got a bit of redemption for the two playoff humiliations he suffered at the hands of the Indians last October. He limited the Tribe to 4 hits over 7 innings, walked 2, and struck out a season high 9 batters. Remarkably, he only recorded 5 outs via his trademark ground ball.

The game was scoreless until the 5th, but not before a busted play nearly cost the Yankees a chance to score. Struggling 2nd Baseman Robinson Cano lead off with a single, but broke to soon for 2nd Base on a hit and run. Sabathia threw to 1st Baseman Ryan Garko whose throw to Jhonny Peralta covering the bag easily beat Cano for the out.

With no one on, centerfielder Melky Cabrera decided to take things into his own hands. He smashed a high Sabathia offering into the left field seats for his 5th home run of the season and the game's lone run. Melky, who only had 8 home runs all of last year, has been one of the most consistent Yankees this season. His .291 average is third best on the team.

The Indians didn't get many opportunities against Wang all day. They had two men on with one out in the 1st, but Victor Martinez flied out and Garko got caught looking at a third strike. Jason Michaels lead off the 3rd with a double, but was stranded.

In the 5th, Franklin Gutierrez lead off with a single, but was thrown out stealing by Jose Molina. Later in the inning, David Dellucci drew a walk and stole 2nd, but Wang struck out Asdrubel Cabrera to end the inning. After a 113-pitch effort Wang gladly turned things over to the Yankees 1-2 punch in the 8th.

Chamberlain, who was unavailable on Saturday due to hamstring soreness, and Mariano Rivera both struck out a pair in retiring all six men they faced. For Rivera it was his 7th save in as many tries. He is yet to be scored upon this season.

Damon, LF4010010.275
Jeter, SS4010002.280
Abreu, RF4000013.281
Rodriguez, 3B3000111.292
Duncan, S, 1B4000023.091
Ensberg, DH3000020.257
Cano, 2B3010000.158
Cabrera, CF3111000.291
Molina, C3000010.267

2B: Jeter (3, Sabathia).
HR: Cabrera (5, 5th inning off Sabathia, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Damon; Jeter 2; Cano; Cabrera 4.
RBI: Cabrera (11).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Duncan, S 2; Abreu.
Team LOB: 4.

CS: Cano (1, 2nd base by Sabathia/Martinez).
PO: Cano (1st base by Sabathia).

PB: Molina (3).

Wang (W, 5-0)7.04002903.23
Chamberlain (H, 5)1.00000201.74
Rivera (S, 7)1.00000200.00

Dellucci, LF3010101.275
Cabrera, 2B4000023.219
Hafner, DH3000111.226
Martinez, C4010002.366
Garko, 1B3000033.238
Peralta, SS4000022.247
Blake, 3B3000021.219
Gutierrez, CF3010010.227
Michaels, RF3010020.173

2B: Michaels (3, Wang).
TB: Dellucci; Martinez; Gutierrez; Michaels 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Garko; Hafner; Cabrera.
Team LOB: 6.

SB: Dellucci (1, 2nd base off Wang/Molina).
CS: Gutierrez (1, 2nd base by Wang/Molina).

E: Garko (1, fielding).
Pickoffs: Sabathia (Cano at 1st base).

Sabathia (L, 1-4)8.04111817.88
Kobayashi 1.00000001.59

HBP: Garko (by Wang).
Pitches-strikes: Wang 113-73, Chamberlain 10-7, Rivera 11-9,
Sabathia 111-78, Kobayashi 12-8.
Ground outs-fly outs: Wang 5-6, Chamberlain 0-1, Rivera 0-1,
Sabathia 8-7, Kobayashi 0-3.
Batters faced: Wang 27, Chamberlain 3, Rivera 3,
Sabathia 29, Kobayashi 3.
Umpires: HP: Marty Foster. 1B: Derryl Cousins. 2B: Angel Hernandez. 3B: Eric Cooper.
Weather: 57 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 5 mph, L to R.
T: 2:54.
Att: 31,598.

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