This was a game of two extremes – the extreme brillance of CC Sabathia and the extreme luck experienced by the Yankees offense.
First, there’s Sabathia. What more can you ask from your starting pitcher in a post-season game? Each October, on average, there’s maybe four games (give or take) where a starting pitcher does what CC did for New York in this contest – and that’s four times out of all the post-season games played in a year. You just don’t see results like this from your starting pitcher all the time in a post-season game. Today, Sabathia was “the man” – and then some. (Sweet play, by the way, made by CC, on that Torii Hunter bunt attempt in the 6th inning too.)
Next, the lucky Yankees offense. New York won this game, 4-1. And, three of those four runs were gifts. In the 1st inning, Johnny Damon had an opposite field, broken bat, hit that was barely fair – and that was followed by a bad throw from Juan Rivera and the pop-up botched by Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins. That sequence resulted in two gift runs. And, in the 6th inning, Melky Cabrera was advanced to second on an errant pick-off attempt and then came around to score when Torii Hunter over-ran the ball on the single by Derek Jeter. That was another gift run. And, those three gift runs was the difference in this contest. On the whole, the Yankees were terrible, offensively, with runners on base in this game. And, New York will have to do better than that from here out in this series.
Now, for some miscellaneous observations…
When A-Rod pulled a rock and ran through the stop sign in the 5th inning, and he had the collision with Angels catcher Jeff Mathis at the plate, my first thought was “Please, don’t let this turn into a 2004 Jason Varitek thing now where it lights a fire under the Angels…” (And, I’m glad that was not the eventual result.)
Every time I look at Mike Scioscia, I see John-McGraw…he looks like him and runs a ballgame like him. But, I doubt that Scioscia would ever invest in a pool hall with Arnold Rothstein.
If this game was played in April, May or June, without question, that ball that Vladimir Guerrero hit in the 4th (for a double) and the drive by Robinson Cano in the 6th (for an out to right) would have been homeruns. They can thank the weather tonight for impacting those drives.
Speaking of Cano, it was funny to see him play this game dressed like he was a Yemeni woman whereas Melky Cabrera played wearing three-quarter sleeves. Talk about two extreme reactions…to the cold.
Lastly, if the Yankees go all the way and win a ring this year, MLB has to get that 9th inning exchange between Joe Girardi and home plate umpire Tim McClelland, where Tim asked Joe who he was bringing in to pitch and Girardi said “some new guy” and McClelland added “from Triple-A?,” on to the official World Series DVD. That was just too funny to be forgotten.
One win down, three to go.