Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mo, 'mates pick up CC Sabathia in Game 1

Usually, CC Sabathia is the one carrying the New York Yankees on his large back. Last night, his teammates picked him up.

Sabathia did not pitch great in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, but managed to keep his team in the baseball game for six innings on a night when he clearly didn't have his best stuff. You know CC had a rough night when Joe Girardi, who usually manages to find something positive in all his starters' outings (witness his post-game comments about AJ Burnett and Javier Vazquez this year), started responding to a question about Sabathia by saying "I didn't think CC was bad."

But it didn't matter last night because the Yankees found a way to overcome the early deficit, the way they seem to always do against the Minnesota Twins. Francisco Liriano stifled the offense for the first five innings, but lost it in the 6th inning, giving up a triple to a resurgent Curtis Granderson. The game-winning blast came off the bat of the banged-up Mark Teixeira in the next inning.

It all ended with Mariano Rivera, of course, because most Yankee victories end with Mo. Put aside any concern about his rough September because yesterday was classic Mo. He came in with two outs and the tying runs on base in the 8th inning and promptly induced a ground ball so weak that it barely made it to short for Derek Jeter to throw out the runner. He then followed up with what should have been a 1-2-3 9th inning were it not for another blown call by the umpires (and Greg Golson validating Girardi’s faith in him and his defensive skills with a terrific catch), but it didn’t matter as the great Mo quickly induced a weak pop up from the dangerous Jim Thome.

So on a night when CC Sabathia wasn't as dominant as he usually is, his Yankee teammates put the big guy on their backs and carried him across the finish line.

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