Not surprisingly, one of the reporters at the game today asked Jorge Posada a question about CC Sabathia’s consistency this season, and how important it was considering all the rest of the issues that have befallen the other Yankees starters. As soon as Posada saw where the question was going, he began to shake his head, almost fearfully.
“Knock on wood, man,” he said, looking around for something to rap his fingers against. “I don’t even want to answer that question. We need him.”
Posada’s concern about tempting fate is understandable; Sabathia has been an absolute rock this season, and today’s game was just the latest example. He went eight innings and allowed only a second-inning single to Mark Ellis, giving the Yankees their sixth straight win and pushing Sabathia’s personal total to 19. He figures to get five cracks at reaching 20 for the first time in his career.
Both Posada and Joe Girardi talked about how Sabathia threw early strikes against an A’s lineup that was happy to swing, and it was clear that Sabathia felt comfortable with all his pitches. He even mixed in some two-seam fastballs amongst the usual four-seamer, curve, slider and change.
“He had no-hit stuff today,” Posada said. “He really did.”
Without Sabathia going for a no-no, Girardi said it was an easy decision to pull him after eight. As for why he’s been on this incredible run at home, Sabathia shrugged. “My wife’s cooking, maybe?” he said.
• Another factor that helped Sabathia today – his stamina. Pitching in steamy conditions is tough for most pitchers, but Sabathia says he likes it. He’s also that rare pitcher who seems to get stronger as the season wears on. Girardi suggested that Sabathia’s size contributes to that, saying, “This is not someone that’s frail. He’s a football player playing baseball.”
When that comment was relayed to Sabathia, he nodded. “I agree with it,” he said. “I could see myself playing the offensive line.”
• Curtis Granderson wasn’t supposed to play this afternoon but – obviously – had no problem coming off the bench to replace Nick Swisher after Swisher felt stiffness in his knee. Girardi said he and his coaches spend a long time deciding on the lineup each day, and so he got an earful from Kevin Long as Granderson’s day only got better.
“K-Long was burying me on the bench today,” Girardi said. “(He said) ‘You were really not very smart, not putting Granderson in. But it only took you one inning to figure it out.’ Those guys, we like to give them a day here or there, especially the speed guys so they stay fresh. (And Granderson) was great today.”
• Swisher first hurt his knee during last week’s series in Toronto and told Girardi he “couldn’t explode” when he tried to run after his first at-bat. That was enough for Girardi, who pulled him. The Yankees are saying he’s day-to-day.
• Andy Pettitte did, in fact, report no issues after his bullpen yesterday. He’s on track to throw a simulated game Saturday and, if all goes well, he could be in a minor-league game sometime next week. Alex Rodriguez also felt fine after hitting on the field for a second straight day and still looks like a go for Sunday.
• Want a weird stat? The Yankees are now 3-0 against pitchers who have thrown no-hitters this season. They beat Dallas Braden today, Roy Halladay and the Phillies on June 15 and Matt Garza and the Rays on July 31.
CC is so good he actually sleep-walked through today’s game (Not really, but I just thought it was an unusual photo). Thanks to AP for the pic.