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Postgame notes: “You don’t want to be the guy to mess that up”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Jun 18, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It’s not that CC Sabathia had pitching poorly. It’s just that, while every other piece of the Yankees rotation had finding new heights these past four weeks, Sabathia had been steady. His ability to grind through without his best stuff is one of his strengths, but he’s also capable of nights like this one.

“It feels good, especially after the last couple starts, any type of a pick me up,” Sabathia said. “You’re watching everybody have good starts. We all pull for each other, and push each other, so you don’t want to be the guy to mess that up.”

Sabathia’s first complete game of the season wasn’t perfect, but it was awfully good. After Michael Bourn tripled to start the game, Sabathia retired seven in a row. Then he retired another seven in a row after Bourn singled in a run in the top of the fifth. Four of his final six outs were strikeouts.

“I thought he had his sinker tonight,” Joe Girardi said. “He got a lot of groundball outs tonight, and that’s key for him. Through his, what we would call struggles — most guys would probably be happy with what he’s doing — he hasn’t had a consistent sinker, and I thought tonight it’s been as consistent as its been. … I could sense he was a little bit frustrated. It’s a great start for him.”

Sabathia credited his between-starts bullpen with Larry Rothschild, where the Yankees pitching coach tweaked his delivery to keep the ball from cutting — “Just not getting through my front side and finishing pitches,” Sabathia said — and the difference was big. Catcher Chris Stewart said this was the best Sabathia’s two-seamer has been all season.

“Any pitcher, every time he’s gets the ball and goes out there on the mound, he’s going to try to be as dominant as he can be,” Stewart said. “He wants to be the No. 1 guy. When you’ve got five guys doing that, it’s really fun. It’s a fun run we’re on right now. … Usually, you’re glad with one, two, or three. We’ve got four and five dominating. There’s really no ace right now. They’re all five aces.”

• The Yankees have won 10 in a row for the first time since 2005. This is the first time in franchise history that they’ve won five straight games against teams with winning records. “I don’t think you’re ever satisfied,” Girardi said. “I think when you become satisfied you can go backwards. Guys always feel that they can do more, that’s the bottom line. I’m happy with the way we’re playing. We’re finding ways. You look at the big hits we had tonight and the big hits we had on the road trip, we’re doing a good job.”

• Braves starter Mike Minor shutdown the Yankees last week in Atlanta, and he had a no-hitter through four innings tonight. Alex Rodriguez broke that up with a leadoff single that kicked off a three-run first. “You get that leadoff guy on, it kind of gives you a little boost,” Russell Martin said.

• The big hit of the night belonged to Derek Jeter — more on that in just a bit — but the first big hit was Martin’s RBI double on a 3-0 pitch. Girardi gave Martin the green light to swing away. “Typically I don’t like swinging 3-0,” Martin said. “But in that situation, I felt like it might be the best pitch to swing at the whole game. I was just aggressive right there.”

• Three batters later it was Jeter at the plate with two outs, a full count and the bases loaded. That was the loudest feeling of anticipation that I can remember at Yankee Stadium this season, and Jeter came through with his go-ahead single up the middle. He had three RBI to match a season high. “I hit it where they weren’t, that’s pretty much it,” Jeter said. “The first time, it was 3-2 and the pitch I hit was actually a ball and off the plate, but it was too close to take. Fortunately it found a hole, and the same with the next time up. Sometimes you hit balls well and they catch it, sometimes you find holes. I was fortunate to find some holes today.”

• Martin on Jeter’s go-ahead, two-run single: “That’s Jeet. He’s never going to give you an at-bat. He never quits, and he has an ability to fight tough pitches off, and he got back to a 3-2 count and just put the barrel on the ball.”

• Mark Teixeira hit his 12th homer of the season and Robinson Cano hit his 13th. Cano’s was his second in as many days, and he has 10 home runs in his past 28 games (after hitting three inhis first 38 games).

• Terrific defense today, especially from the infielders, each one of whom had at least one play that stood out. Jeter’s diving play to end the seventh was probably the biggest and most memorable. “Getting the ground balls and these guys catching them and making outs helped out,” Sabathia said.

• Sabathia had 12 groundball outs.

• Sabathia said the difference tonight was more about consistency than anything else. His stuff wasn’t overwhelming better. “Just more consistent,” he said. “I felt that way this week in the bullpen and playing catch. I had a pretty good idea, and I felt pretty good. They were hacking early, and it got me in a little bit of a rhythm.”

• This was the Yankees 22nd comeback win of the season. … They’re 17-6 in series openers. … The Yankees have matched a season-high with four straight wins at home. … They’re 16-5 in an opponent’s first game at the current Yankee Stadium (the Braves had never played here before).

• Sabathia and Ivan Nova were the first two American League pitchers to reach nine wins this season.

• Sabathia’s 34 career complete games are the third-most among active pitchers. Roy Halladay has 66 and Livan Hernandez has 50.

• We’ll give Girardi the last word, talking about the 10-game winning streak: “It’s not easy to do in this game because you play a lot of good teams during your streaks, and I think with all that’s went on in baseball with all the revenue sharing and all they try to do, I think there’s parity in baseball. Our guys have just really done a great job of finding ways to win games. Some of them have looked pretty bleak at times. You go back to the one in Atlanta when we had nothing going on in that game and then we find a way, Alex hits the big grand slam. I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

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35 Responses to “Postgame notes: “You don’t want to be the guy to mess that up””

  1. Rich in NJ June 18th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    With regard to Pat’s post on the previous thread:

    Managing the Yankees may have its challenges, but it beats almost every other job in professional sports because you have a chance to win every single year, at least until/unless they show that they can’t handle the significant limitations imposed by the current CBA, which were directed exclusively at one team.

    The key to managing the current Yankees, imo: keep Jeter on your side.

    It’s a harder job now than it was for Torre (except for ’96, when he had to combat a losing culture), because he had so many great young players entering their prime. Now, most are nearing the exit, which is a challenge for any franchise.

  2. luis June 18th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    YF,

    No updates of Swisher that i am aware of.

    Austinmac,

    His parents wouldn’t let him go on with playing Baseball until he finished school. So he went to College but never played ever again. It’s a shame, because talent wise i don’t think i’ve seen a better player. We played after that together for the fun of it, but never played organized baseball again. He is currently married with two sons, his oldest plays his dad position but talent wise is not even close.

  3. luis June 18th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    In one game i saw him hit three homers. Two oppo shots and another to dead center 410 feet away with ease.

  4. austinmac June 18th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Luis,

    Thanks. Life can derail a player as easily as on field play.

  5. luis June 18th, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    My pleasure Austinmac,

    Life sometimes throws you a curveball from time to time. I don’t think he regrets it though. He has a very happy life

  6. J. Alfred Prufrock June 18th, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Great stories, luis.

    I’m turning in. Goodnight primo, YF, Rich in NJ, Amac, et al. Great win.

  7. luis June 18th, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Good night my friend! Have a good one ;)

  8. yankeefeminista June 18th, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    It’s very sad, Luis, but at least he experienced the joy of playing vs. having never experienced it. Maybe small consolation… but it is something.

    I watch so many players in the minors who have so much talent too, and then poof they get injured or just can’t make it to the next level… Speaking of which, I just saw Drabek’s name on the tv screen again and I got to watch him pitch in the minors; I feel so bad for him.

  9. yankeefeminista June 19th, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Rich, as long as Joe G. puts his foot down about resting Jeter. I don’t want any 2005 redux with old players who are dragging their you-know-whats in the playoffs because they played too much. Although Girardi does a pretty good job of resting most of the crew.

  10. yankeefeminista June 19th, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Cano and Granderson shouldn’t be taken for granted in terms of breaks just because of their younger ages though. Thank God we have an off day on Thursday.

  11. luis June 19th, 2012 at 12:03 am

    YF,

    I don’t think he regrets it one bit. He comes from a well known family down here. Same thing happened to me, though i wasn’t even close talent wise to him. I did get hurt though. And my father told me after finishing school i could go back to play, but by then i couldn’t.

  12. yankeefeminista June 19th, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Luis, that is good to know. Many do live with regret; however, it is understandable. I suppose one arrives at loving the game in a different way over time. Buenas noches, mi amigo!

  13. luis June 19th, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Buenas noches YF, have a good one…I am turning in as well Good night all.

  14. Rich in NJ June 19th, 2012 at 12:22 am

    yf

    I agree, but when I think of 2005, I think of Crosby colliding with Sheffield, which probably cost them the ALDS.

  15. Pat M. June 19th, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Rich in NJ…….Oh how I remember that game and that play……I was the lone Yankee fan in a suite box with 9 Angel fans half way down the left field line……..I still see that play in slow motion in my head, and to this day what in the hell was Gary Sheffield doing there ???? It must have been the first time he ever had any form of coverage in the right field gap…….Bam, right in front of the San Diego Zoo sign…….Yanks would have punched out The White Sox and certainly The Cards…..

  16. waka flocka June 19th, 2012 at 2:58 am

    I want to agree but the White Sox had a rotation with Contreras, Garcia, and Buehrle all pitching out of their minds. If I remember, Duque was lights out outta the pen too.

  17. waka flocka June 19th, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Man that ’05 team has some great memories for me. Small, Chacon, seeing Randy Johnson dominate the second half of the season in a Yankee uniform, Crosby walking off against Baltimore, and winning the division in Fenway

  18. LGY June 19th, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I can’t understand how Torre is still referred to as a strong clubhouse manager when since his departure we have found out about so many issues and divisions in those post Dynasty clubhouses.

    What Torre was great at was managing and manipulating the media. Girardi has come a long way in that aspect but he appears to have always had command of the clubhouse.

  19. tomingeorgia June 19th, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Good morning, LGY. Haven’t been around too much, but thoroughly enjoying this run we’re on.

  20. tomingeorgia June 19th, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Anybody here?

  21. MTU June 19th, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Good morning Mister Tom.

  22. MTU June 19th, 2012 at 8:21 am

    A pitching staff where every guy is capable of winning 15 or more games.

    Nice.

    ;)

  23. tomingeorgia June 19th, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Mr. MTU,
    A fie Utah morning to you! It’s Kuroda’s turn, isn’t it?

  24. austinmac June 19th, 2012 at 8:29 am

    MLB.com reports on a new Cuban outfielder who has escaped. He is 21, experienced in the best Cuban league and supposedly trying to be available before July 2d. Hooray, another player we can obsess upon.

  25. MTU June 19th, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Tom-

    It always is. Beginning to forget what clouds look like again.

    So much blue.

    The whole staff has been fantastic of late.

    As Stewart said, 5 Aces.

    I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

    All I ever hope for from our starters is a quality start.

    A chance for the team to win.

    I hope Hiroki gives us that again.

    Let the good times continue to roll.

    :)

  26. MTU June 19th, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Mac-

    Are you planning on heading for the high country this Summer ?

    If so, where ?

  27. Against All Odds June 19th, 2012 at 8:32 am

    austinmac June 19th, 2012 at 8:29 am

    MLB.com reports on a new Cuban outfielder who has escaped. He is 21, experienced in the best Cuban league and supposedly trying to be available before July 2d. Hooray, another player we can obsess upon.

    ———————-

    And then see him sign somewhere else :)

  28. tomingeorgia June 19th, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Anybody still think R.A. Dickey isn’t for real?

  29. MG June 19th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    austinmac June 19th, 2012 at 8:29 am
    MLB.com reports on a new Cuban outfielder who has escaped. He is 21, experienced in the best Cuban league and supposedly trying to be available before July 2d. Hooray, another player we can obsess upon.
    ——————–
    I saw a 10 second clip of him on You Tube, definitely a 5 tool player with significant upside. The Yankees need to be all in on him, get him Cashman!!!!!!

  30. MTU June 19th, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Tom-

    He is this year.

    I was surprised to see that he is 37.

    A real late bloomer.

    ;)

  31. MTU June 19th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    We have our Cuban OF’er.

    His name is Ronnier Mustelier.

    Not likely to get another. We took a shot at Soler.

  32. MG June 19th, 2012 at 8:48 am

    this would make such a great movie-have a team of action heroes break into Cuba and grab the top 10 Cuban baseball players, get them back to the US and auction them off, one at a time, to MLB teams.

    They could do something like the NFL draft, have all the GMs in the arena bidding these guys up with Martin Landau playing Bud Selig as if he was Bela Lugosi in ‘Ed Wood’.

    We know Brad Pitt can play Billy Beane, what about Pee Wee Herman as Cashman, Robb Schneider as Theo Epstein, and Adam Sandler as anyone else.

    Box office gold, my friends…

  33. MTU June 19th, 2012 at 8:50 am

    MG-

    Call the movie “Escape from Cuba” and let Luis Tiant play the hero.

    I like action flicks.

    :)

  34. MTU June 19th, 2012 at 8:58 am

    New thread —->

  35. austinmac June 19th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    MTU,

    Heading back to our annual RMNP hikes. Hopefully, it will cool in Colorado, but in any event, it is still far cooler than it will be here.

    How can this new Cuban be available in two weeks when it took months for everyone else. I would be surprised if he if available by July 2.


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