Monday, July 11, 2011

CC Tops

CC, how do I love thee,
Let me count the wins,
Thirteen at the All-Star break!

CC Sabathia knew he had to be at his best on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays own ace, James Shields, was toeing the rubber for the visiting team. All Sabathia did was go out and throw a complete game shutout in the Yankees 1-0 win.

Sabathia, who was named to the All-Star team on Sunday though he won't pitch in the game, was superb. He rared back in the 9th inning and blew a 98-mph fastball by Elliot Johnson to end the game. His 9th strikeout of the game improved Sabathia's record to 13-4 and lowered his ERA To 2.72. In his last four starts (31.2 IP), Sabathia is 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA (one earned run allowed), 42 strikeouts, and a 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Overall, the big man has won his last six starts and 10 of the last 11 times he's been on the mound.

Sabathia faced just two batters over the minimum as he got some help from his defense. Catcher Russell Martin threw out B.J. Upton and Sean Rodriguez on steal attempts and Andruw Jones doubled Upton off of first base on a fly out to right field.

The Yankees couldn't do much better off of Shields, who lowered his ERA to 2.33 despite the loss. The Rays gifted the Yankees a run in the 7th to break the scoreless tie. Robinson Cano led off the inning with a single and was nearly doubled off first when Jorge Posada flew out to shallow center. But Upton's throw sailed into the seats for a two base error. Rays manager Joe Maddon is never afraid to throw caution to the wind, but a two out decision in the inning cost the Rays the game.

Shields tried to pick Cano off of third base, but Sean Rodriguez was late to cover and Shield's throw sailed wide to allow Cano to score the game's lone run. The run proved to be enough for a Yankees team that had neither Alex Rodriguez or Nick Swisher in the lineup and managed just four hits on the day.


A-Rod will undergo knee surgery today on his slightly torn meniscus and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. He visited with specialist Dr. Lee Kaplan in Miami on Sunday and will follow Kaplan's recommendation to have the procedure done. Eduardo Nunez will get the majority of playing time while A-Rod is out. No word on who the Yankees will add to the roster in A-Rod's place, but that decision does not have to be made immediately with the the league at the All-Star break.

Speaking of All-Stars, reliever David Robertson has been added to the squad as a replacement. "Houdini" has had quite a year; he moved into the 8th inning set up role when Joba Chamberlain had Tommy John surgery and has struck out a remarkable 56 batters in 35.1 innings pitched (14.3 per nine innings).

Nick Swisher sat out his second straight game on Sunday with a strained quad, but hopes to be back in the lineup when play resumes on Thursday.

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