Here is the Joe Girardi post-game interview for those of you still awake:
Girardi said he was scared at first when CC got hit with that line drive in the fifth inning. But Sabathia told them right away that he was fine.
“We’re fortunate,” Girardi said. “It couldn’t have hit his pitching hand, it could have hit him anywhere. We were fortunate.”
Mark Teixeira said that Sabathia seemed to get better once he got hit. In fact, he did as Sabathia retired the final seven batters he faced.
“He’s a strong man, he took it and he kept on pitching,” Girardi said.
Sabathia said it was no problem. He’s been hit on that spot before and he knew he was OK right away. What impressed him most was how quickly assistant athletic trainer Steve Donohue got to the mound.
“Stevie was moving,” he said. “I knew I was fine. It looked worse than it felt. I was more mad I didn’t catch it.”
Meanwhile, an unknown perpetrator took one of Nick Swisher’s sneakers and suspended it from the clubhouse ceiling. Swisher has to clamber up on a chair to snag the brown and yellow Nike.
“I’ll give $100 to know who did that,” he yelled as assorted other players snickered.
A few notes for you:
• CC is tied with Adam Wainwright of St. Louis for the most wins in the majors with 18. He has not been as good statistically as Zack Greinke or Felix Hernandez and will probably finish third in the Cy Young voting. But when you consider that his starts actually mean something, perhaps CC really has been better. Greinke pitches in a vacuum at this point.
• Hideki Matsui has hit safely in eight straight and 13 of of his last 15 games. He is second on the team with 86 RBI despite being eighth on the team in plate appearances.
• The magic number to clinch a playoff spot is two. But the Yankees don’t plan to break out the champagne until they wrap up the division. There is something to be said for acting like you’ve been there before, after all.
As for the division, the Yankees lead the Red Sox by six games with 13 to play. It’s not out of the realm of believability that Boston could make a move. But Terry Francona’s history suggests that he’ll concern himself more with making sure his regulars are rested and his pitchers are lined up as opposed to going full out after the Yankees.
It’ll be the Yankees against the Twins or Tigers in the first round and the Red Sox against the Angels in the other series.