CC OK with ND after Martin walk-off
CC Sabathia answered the questions about CC Sabathia Friday night.
The big question was whether the lefthander could still be the staff ace. A resounding yes was the big guy’s response.
Unfortunately, Sabathia had nothing on his personal ledger to account for his eight brilliant innings against an Oakland team that has been as much a surprising success story this season in the American League West as Baltimore has been in the AL East.
CC got hung with a hard no-decision as Rafael Soriano failed to nail down a save for only the fourth time in 46 opportunities this year. A home run by pinch hitter Brandon Moss with one out in the ninth inning wiped out the Yankees’ 1-0 lead that Soriano was brought in to protect after Sabathia had limited the Athletics to three singles and two walks with 11 strikeouts over the first eight in an efficient 113 pitches.
Sabathia was in a joyful mood after the game because his catcher, Russell Martin, kept the Yanks in first place with a walk-off home run in the 10th off A’s lefthander Sean Doolittle.
“With a day game [Saturday], I didn’t want us to play all night,” Martin quipped.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi called Martin’s 18th home run the biggest of the season. Such superlatives are common when a team get down to the last dozen games of the schedule. A loss would have been crushing for the Yankees because it would have allowed the Orioles, who won in Boston, to pull into a first-place tie.
Sabathia took a no-hitter into the sixth and already had eight K’s to that point. A single to center by Stephen Drew leading off the sixth was Oakland’s first hit and its only one until the eighth when Sabathia got into his singular jam. A second hit by Drew, a two-out infield single by Collin Cowgill and a hit batter loaded the bases, but Josh Reddick flied out to left off a tailing fastball from Sabathia. That was the only contact Reddick made as he struck out four times.
“He had a good slider, good changeup, good fastball,” Martin said of Sabathia. “Everything was good.”
“You never want to be the guy that messes things up,” Sabathia said, referring to the Yankees’ winning streak that has stretched to six games. “I was able to make pitches when I needed to. The other guy [A’s starter Jarrod Parker] was throwing a great game against us, so I couldn’t let up.”
There may have been a sense of déjà vu for Soriano. Back on July 22, he gave up a home run to Seth Smith in the ninth inning at Oakland that sent the game into extra innings that the A’s won in 12. The starting pitcher that day was also CC Sabathia.
That was then. This is now and where Sabathia despite not winning in five starts since Aug. 24 wants to be.
“This game was important to him and important to us,” Girardi said. “If CC is going to get into a hot streak, this is the time to do it.”