Any time the Yankees head to Tampa, I never get a good feeling. For whatever reason, the don’t seem to play well there. When you threw in CC Sabathia, who had been struggling and only had one win in his Yankees career at Tampa to begin with, and Yankee killer David Price on the hill for Tampa, I was a little weary to say the least. Well, as John Sterling always says, “That’s baseball, Suzyn. You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn. I dare you to try to predict baseball, Suzyn. If you ever predict baseball correctly, I’ll end my own life right here and now, Suzyn! Where’s my Tom Collins, Suzyn???”– but I digress. Let’s move on with the game review, shall we?
We can go ahead and start with Sabathia, because he was pretty on point in this game. He gave up an unearned run on a passed ball by Brian McCann, and another on a solo homer to Sabathia killer Sean Rodriguez, but that was really it. CC ended up going 7 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6 Rays. He wasn’t overly worked either, only needing 107 pitches (72 strikes) to get through those 7 frames. Sabathia has been plagued by that one bad inning in every start, and he avoided it in this one. It was impressive.
That being said, the Yankees defense really helped CC out in this one. Normally I save the Yangervis Solarte MVP watch for the end of these posts, but I just can’t contain it today! Solarte had a huge impact defensively in this game, starting a triple play on a hard grounder by Rodriguez in the bottom of the 2nd. Solarted fielded the grounder a couple of steps away from third, stepped on the bag and turned and fired to Roberts at second, who beautifully turned and fired to Scott Sizemore at first. Not to be outdone, Sizemore, who was playing his first career game at first, made a great scoop to complete the third out. The craziest part of this is that it was the third triple play Sabathia has induced in his Yankees career. He got one in Oakland in 2010, one against the Orioles last year and this one. He seems to have a horseshoe up his behind when it comes to these things, I hope he gets 100 more.
Anyway, that wasn’t all for Yangervis, so let’s get back to him real quick. The rookie, who made the team so late in Spring Training that he wasn’t able to take the same flight to Houston as the rest of the team, went 3-5 with a single, double and his first major league homer (in the 9th off of Grant Balfour). He is now hitting .373 with 7 doubles, a homer and 9 RBI, which is tied for the team lead. I know we all expect the balloon to burst for the 26 year old who never so much got a September call up with the Texas Rangers, but he’s really starting to look like the real deal. Great story.
The Yankees actually blasted 3 homers in this game, as Alfonso Soriano and McCann went back to back in the 4th inning off of Price. It was the second time this year the two have gone back-to-back (and a belly-to-belly, as Sterling would say), and I’m glad to finally have some boppers bopping in the Yankees order. The Yankees, who only hit one home run in their first 7 games, have now hit 16 in their next 9. The Bronx Bombers are back, and the Yankees have won 9 of 13.
Solarte’s Triple Play:
Featured image courtesy of: Yankees News Online
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