Results tagged ‘ CC Sabathia ’

Yankees waste solid effort from Sabathia

It is tough to lose a two-hitter, but that is what happened to CC Sabathia Thursday. The lefthander gave up only two singles through seven innings, which marked the eighth consecutive game in which the Yankees’ starting pitcher lasted six or more innings.

That was the good part. The bad part is that Blue Jays lefthander J.A. Happ was just as stingy in limiting the Yankees to one run in seven innings. A home run with two out in the first inning by Starlin Castro accounted for the Yankees’ scoring in a 3-1 loss that allowed Toronto to jump ahead of them in the American League East standings.

The Yankees stayed out of last place in the division but fell two games under .500 in dropping two of the three games in the abbreviated home stand against a club that has had more than it share of turmoil lately. Losing the series stunted much of the momentum derived from a 5-2 trip to Phoenix and Oakland. The Yankees will spend the next 10 days on the road again with stops in St. Petersburg, Fla. (three games), Toronto (three), Detroit (one), and Baltimore (three). Only the rainout makeup game against the Tigers will be outside the AL East, so there will be plenty of chances for the Yanks to gain ground in the standings.

It hurt to waste so strong an effort by Sabathia, whose record fell to 3-3 butt whose ERA shrunk to 2.83. Neither of the two runs off Sabathia, who struck out seven batters, walked one and hit one, was earned because of an error by shortstop Didi Gregorius, whose defense has been inconsistent (eight errors in 42 games).

Gregorius booted a hard grounder by Devon Travis with one out. Sabathia retired Darwin Barney on a fly to center but loaded the bases by yielding a single to Jose Bautista and walking Josh Donaldson. Edwin Encarnacion lashed a single to left to score the two runs that gave the Jays the lead for what turned out to be for good.

Sabathia kept the Yankees in the game after that with four hitless innings, but the Yankees could not muster much of an offense against Happ and two relievers. Chase Headley and Gregorius singled with one out in the fifth before Austin Romine grounded into a double play. In the eighth against righthander Gavin Floyd, Jacoby Ellsbury batted for Romine and led off with a single. He reached second on an infield out but was stranded as Aaron Hicks flied out and Alex Rodriguez struck out.

Rodriguez was back from his two-game, injury-rehabilitation assignment at Double A Trenton and in the lineup as the designated hitter for the first time since he went on the 15-day disabled list May 4. A-Rod was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Carlos Beltran, who had been the Yankees’ hottest hitter as a frequent DH in Rodriguez’s absence, was back in right field and had a brutal day at the plate (0-for-4, all strikeouts). He is now hitless in his past nine at-bats. Romine played first base in place of Mark Teixeira, who had an injection in his ailing neck and will be out of the lineup for several days. Relief pitcher Chasen Shreve was placed on the DL because of a sprained left shoulder.

The Blue Jays scored an insurance run in the ninth off Aroldis Chapman, who was not in a save situation and gave up three singles.

Thursday marked Sabathia’s 10th career start of seven or more innings pitched and two hits or fewer without allowing an earned run and his first since April 5, 2011 against the Twins (seven innings, two hits). With his seven strikeouts, Sabathia raised his career total to 2,610, surpassing Hall of Famer Tom Glavine (2,607) and tying Chuck Finley (2,610) for 23rd place on the all-time list.

Beltran thriving in A-Rod’s absence

Alex Rodriguez has been eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list since Thursday, but the Yankees seem in no hurry to activate him. The main reason is that he has not appeared to be 100 percent in running drills, which is crucial for a player disabled due to a strained right hamstring.

Another reason is that the Yankees have been able to use the designated hitter spot previously occupied almost solely by Rodriguez in a manner that is helpful for a club with aging players. Manager Joe Girardi has had the luxury of giving games off the field for catcher Brian McCann, first baseman Mark Teixeira and most notably right fielder Carlos Beltran.

Of the 17 games A-Rod has been out of the lineup, Beltran has served as the DH in 10 of them and sparing his battered legs has produced dividends to the offense. Beltran has been an absolute wrecking crew in Oakland where the Yankees have knocked off the Athletics two nights in a row in ending a four-game Athletics winning streak and putting together a three-game winning streak for the first time this season.

Beltran had three doubles and drove in three runs in Friday night’s 8-3 victory, one night after another three-RBI game with a double and a home run in Thursday night’s 4-1 triumph. In 41 at-bats as the DH in Rodriguez’s absence, Beltran has batted .342 with eight runs, eight doubles, five home runs and 16 RBI. The Yankees are 8-2 in the games Beltran has been the DH and 11-6 overall since A-Rod went on the DL.

Beltran doubled with two out in the first inning off Sonny Gray, who the Yanks would rough up later in the game, but was stranded. Beltran’s second double knocked in two runs in the Yankees’ four-run fourth that also included a two-run triple by Ronald Torreyes and a run-scoring wild pitch, one of three in the game by Gray, who also gave up six hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings. The Oakland righthander finished third last season in the American League Cy Young Award voting behind winner Dallas Keuchel and runner-up David Price but has struggled big-time this year with a 3-5 record and a 6.19 ERA.

Beltran doubled in the Yankees’ sixth run in the sixth inning off reliever Ryan Dull. The offensive outburst was sufficient support for CC Sabathia, who in his first start since coming off the DL held the A’s to one run, three hits and one walk with eight strikeouts in six innings. Having a five-run lead in the seventh meant Girardi could stay away from Dellin Betances and give Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman the night off as well.

Jacoby Ellsbury continued his hot hitting with two hits, including a two-run triple in the ninth. The center fielder is batting .395 with 10 runs, four doubles, two triples, six walks, five stolen bases and five RBI in 38 at-bats this month.

The winning decision was Sabathia’s 100th victory with the Yankees. With 106 victories for the Indians, Sabathia became the eighth pitcher since 1900 and the second with the Yankees to win at least 100 games with multiple franchises. Mike Mussina (Orioles) was the other Yankees pitcher to pull off the feat. The others were Grover Cleveland Alexander (Phillies and Cardinals), Lefty Grove (A’s and Red Sox), Nolan Ryan (Angels and Astros), Dennis Martinez (Expos and Orioles), Greg Maddux (Cubs and Braves) and Randy Johnson (Mariners and Diamondbacks).

Yankees dealing with non-DL injuries

Starlin Castro was not in the starting lineup for the Yankees Monday night as they opened a four-game series at Yankee Stadium against the reigning World Series champion Royals, but that was more due to manager Joe Girardi’s characteristic cautionary approach to injuries that anything too serious.

Castro told reporters that his left ribcage was still sore but that he could have played. Girardi did not disagree but felt comfortable giving the second baseman who leads the club in hits (32) another day to get healthy. Castro has has some adventures on the bases. He was caught off third base in Sunday night’s 5-1 loss to the Red Sox and was picked off second base last week at Baltimore.

The Yankees also continue to be without center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who has not played since the first inning Friday night because of a tight right hip. Although not on the 15-day disabled list with Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia, Ellsbury has yet to do any baseball-related activity. Aaron Hicks was in center field and Ronald Torreyes at second base Monday night.

The Yankees also activated relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman. To make room for the lefthander on the roster, there Yankees optioned Johnny Barbato to Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Barbato, a righthander who won the James P. Dawson Award as the outstanding rookie in the Yankees’ spring training camp, was 1-2 with a 5.54 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 12 games covering 13 innings.

Ivan Nova was to make his first start of the season in place of Sabathia, who has a strained left groin. Girardi was hopeful that Nova, who is 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in six relief appearances totaling 14 innings, could give him at least 75 pitches. Nova’s longest outing in relief was four innings, which he did twice, April 6 against the Astros at the Stadium and April 26 against the Rangers at Arlington, Texas.

Last year, the Yankees had the best record of an American League club against AL Central competition of 21-12 (.625). Only the National League’s Pirates did better against AL Central competition in 13 fewer games at 13-7 (.650). The Yankees entered play Monday night with a 1-1 record against the AL Central (both games against the Tigers).

The Yanks also found out they will have an additional workload coming up. Their rainout April 10 at Detroit’s Comerica Park will be made up there at 7:40 p.m. June 2, which had been an open date for both clubs. With this date set, the Yankees will play on 40 of 41 days from May 3 through June 6. Their only off day during that stretch will be May 23 upon returning from a trip to Phoenix and Oakland

Tight hip knocks Ellsbury out in 1st inning

Jacoby Ellsbury’s trip around the bases in the first inning Friday night proved costly as the center fielder hurt his right hip while scoring the Yankees’ first run. Ellsbury came out of the game at inning’s end and was to undergo an MRI exam. This is the same hip that Ellsbury injured last year that placed him on the disabled list.

Ellsbury entered the game with a career slash line of .429/.448/.929 in 28 career at-bats against Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, who brought a 5-0 record and a 13 1/3-inning scoreless streak into the game. Ellsbury helped put an end to that by drawing a four-pitch, leadoff walk, stealing second and third base and scoring on a two-out double by Brian McCann. On the trot home Ellsbury pulled up lame. Dustin Ackley came out to play right field at the start of the second inning with Aaron Hicks moving to Ellsbury’s spot in center.

Ackley tied the score for the Yankee in the bottom of the second with a two-out, RBI single. The Red Sox had scored in the first inning against Michael Pineda on a two-run home run by David Ortiz, his third homer in four games against the Yankees this year and the 50th of his career against them.

Ellsbury’s injury comes at a time when the Yankees are pretty beat up. Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia are on the DL. Brett Gardner returned to the lineup after not starting Thursday night in Baltimore because of a a bruised right triceps.

CC joins A-Rod on the disabled list

Just when the Yankees’ rotation was beginning to click, a wrench has been thrown into the mix. It came in the form of a strained left groin to CC Sabathia, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list two days after he pitched seven shutout innings at Baltimore’s Camden Yards in one of only two victories the Yankees had in their nine-game trip.

Back at Yankee Stadium Friday night against the Red Sox to start a 10-game homestand, the Yankees had bad news regarding Sabathia, who joins Alex Rodriguez on the DL. The Yankees recalled lefthander Phil Coke from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Coke, who pitched for the Yankees in 2008 and ’09, will be in the bullpen. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Ivan Nova will fill in for Sabathia in the rotation.

Sabathia beat out Nova for the fifth starter’s spot in spring training and has a 2-2 record with a 3.81 ERA. Girardi called CC’s outing Wednesday night the best he has seen in the past two years. One of the amazing things about it is that Sabathia felt soreness in his groin in the fourth inning and was able to pitch quality ball through the seventh.

Masahiro Tanaka followed Sabathia’s effort with a gem of his own Thursday night, although the Yankees lost, 1-0, in 10 innings. Tanaka shut out the Orioles for eight innings in lowering his ERA to 2.29.

Matching Tanaka through eight was Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. It marked the major leagues’ first game in which both starters pitched at least eight scoreless innings since Aug. 24, 2015 when the Yankees’ Nathan Eovaldi and the Astros’ Scott Feldman did it in a 1-0 Yankees victory at the Stadium.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the third time in 1,028 games between the Yankees and Orioles (since the team moved to Baltimore from St. Louis in 1954) that neither team scored through nine innings. The others were June 3, 1981 at the Stadium (a 2-0 Yankees victory in 11 innings) and Sept. 12, 2014 at Camden Yards (a 2-1 Orioles victory in 11 innings).

Tanaka’s eight scoreless innings Thursday night was the longest start by a Yankees pitcher this season and the longest since Eovaldi’s game Aug. 24 last year. The last time a Yankees starter went at least eight scoreless innings on the road was exactly a year ago, by Michael Pineda May 5, 2015 at Toronto. Along with Sabathia’s start Wednesday night, Yankees starters have thrown at least seven scoreless innings in consecutive starts for the first time in exactly one year: Chase Whitley threw seven innings May 4, 2015 at Toronto and Pineda’s eight the next day.

After the three-game, weekend series against the Red Sox, the reigning World Series champion Royals come to town for four games followed by the American League Central-leading White Sox for a three-game set.

Alex Rodriguez Replica Bat Day will take place Saturday, May 14. The first 10,000 people in attendance, 14 years of age and younger, will receive a replica bat, courtesy of Bank of America.

Ticket specials will run Monday, May 9 (Military Personnel Game), Tuesday, May 10 (MasterCard $5, Military Personnel and Senior Citizen Game), Wednesday, May 11 (Military Personnel and Student Game), Thursday, May 12 (Military Personnel Game), Saturday, May 14 (Youth Game) and Sunday, May 15 (Youth Game).

For a complete list of ticket specials, including game dates, seating locations, and terms and conditions, fans should visit http://www.yankees.com/ticketspecials. Please note that all ticket specials are subject to availability.

The homestand will also feature the following promotional items and dates:

Saturday, May 7 – Yankees vs. Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
Sunscreen Day, presented by Blue Lizard, to all in attendance.

Monday, May 9 – Yankees vs. Royals, 7:05 p.m.
Cap Night, presented by the Robin Hood Foundation, to all in attendance.

Tuesday, May 10 – Yankees vs. Royals, 7:05 p.m.
Dunkin’ Donuts Card Night, presented by Dunkin’ Donuts, to first 18,000 in attendance, 21 and older.

Thursday, May 12 – Yankees vs. Royals, 7:05 p.m.
Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center Commemorative Bookmark Night-Free Museum Admission Ticket, presented by the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, to all in attendance.

Friday, May 13 – Yankees vs. White Sox, 7:05 p.m.
Yankees Reusable Tote Bag Night, presented by MLB Network, to first 40,000 in attendance.

Sunday, May 15 – Yankees vs. White Sox, 1:05 p.m.
MLB Play Ball Weekend-Plastic Bat and Ball Set, to first 10,000 in attendance, 14 and younger.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.yankees.com, http://www.yankeesbeisbol.com, at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, via Ticketmaster phone at 877-469-9849, Ticketmaster TTY at 800-943-4327 and at all ticket offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops. Tickets may also be purchased on Yankees Ticket Exchange at http://www.yankees.com/yte, the only official online resale marketplace for fans to purchase and resell tickets to Yankees games. Fans with questions may call 212-YANKEES [926-5337] or email tickets@yankees.com.

For information on parking and public transportation options to the Stadium, please visit http://www.yankees.com and click on the Yankee Stadium tab at the top of the page.

Sabathia gem ends six-game skid

That was not the old CC Sabathia on the Camden Yards mound for the Yankees Wednesday night but rather the CC Sabathia of old, the stud they counted on to stop long losing streaks. Reaching back into his past, the 6-foot-7 lefthander provided an outing worthy of a true stopper.

With seven shutout innings, Sabathia did his part in making the Yankees’ six-game losing streak history. Mixing his best changeup of the season with sliders, sinkers and cut fastballs and aided by three double plays turned behind him, Sabathia held the Orioles at bay and kept the Yankees in the game long enough to figure a way to get to Orioles starter Tyler Wilson, who matched CC in throwing up zeroes over the first five innings.

The Yanks’ feeble offense of late awakened in the sixth with the help of some needed breaks. Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones’ failure to get the ball out of his glove after a catch of a Carlos Beltran fly ball gave the Yankees a run as Jacoby Ellsbury, who had a perfect night in his 1,000th career game, was able to score from third. Brian McCann got the first of his three RBI with a single, and a throwing error by Wilson on a Starlin Castro squib in front of the plate accounted for another run.

The Yankees turned on the juice by batting around in the eighth against the Baltimore bullpen to produce four runs on a two-run double by McCann, a two-out, RBI single by Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Gardner came out of the game in the ninth and may not play in Thursday night’s finale. Fortunately, X-Rays on Gardner’s right triceps were negative.

The 10-hit attack came on a needed occasion with Alex Rodriguez going on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right hamstring. Beltran took over as the designated hitter with Adam Hicks starting in right field. Hicks was 0-for-4 and was the only Yankees player who did not get to run around the bases.

Ellsbury was 3-for-3 with two walks and two stolen bases. Gardner singled, scored a run and drove in one. Beltran had a sacrifice fly, a double and scored a run. Mark Teixeira reached base four times with a single and three walks and scored twice. McCann had two hits and three RBI. Gregorius had a hit, a run and an RBI. Even slumping Chase Headley had a single.

The 7-0 victory was the Yankees’ first shutout of the season on the winning side (they have been blanked twice).

The lone hiccup was that of Kirby Yates, who took over in the eighth inning and loaded the bases with one out on a double to Manny Machado and two walks, a cardinal sin for pitchers working with a seven-run lead. Manager Joe Girardi would have preferred to stay away from Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller in this game but had no choice but to bring in Betances, who has had a rough trip but ended the threat with a called strikeout of Chris Davis and getting Mark Trumbo on a foul pop.

Sabathia deserved every bit of run support the Yankees could give him. In his 203rd start for the Yankees, which tied him with Tommy John for 15th place on the all-time franchise list, Sabathia improved his career record against the Orioles to 19-7 with a 3.35 ERA, including 11-6 with a 3.63 ERA at Camden Yards. Much of Sabathia’s success in Baltimore was back in his prime. Since the start of the 2012 season, CC had eight winless starts at Camden Yards before Wednesday night.

Since joining the Yankees in 2009, Sabathia has won all four of his starts with the club trying to stop a losing streak of five or more games. His record on those occasions is 4-0 with an ERA of 0.86 over 31 1/3 innings in which he has allowed 21 hits and six walks with 30 strikeouts.

In his seventh start with the Yankees May 8, 2009 at Baltimore, Sabathia pitched a four-hit shutout — the 11th shutout of his career — to stop a five-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory. He ended a five-game skid May 31, 2013 with a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox, his fifth career game with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks. Two and a half weeks later June 16, 2013 at Anaheim, Sabathia halted another five-game losing streak and took a shutout bid into the ninth inning in an eventual 6-5 victory.

Wednesday night was like old times.

Weapons old and new sustain Yankees

The Yankees have a new weapon in their offensive arsenal this year. It is called catcher’s interference whereby a player is awarded first base if the opposing catcher interferes with the batter’s swing.

For the third time in a season that is only 16 games old for the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury reached base Saturday due to catcher’s interference, in this case that of Tampa Bay’s Hank Conger. It was a painful play as well for Conger, who hurt his left hand and had to come out of the game.

The situation kept a rally alive for the Yankees in the seventh inning. It came on a 3-2 pitch, which is Ellsbury’s favorite count these days. Friday night, he stole home on a 3-2 pitch to Brett Gardner, an unusual decision to say the least.

The catcher’s interference call loaded the bases for the Yanks with two out. Gardner followed with a laser-beam line drive off the glove of pitcher Xavier Cedeno, one of three lefthanders Rays manager Kevin Cash threw against the Bombers in the game. Cedeno keep the ball from getting to the outfield, but the infield single was good enough to score the tying run.

Knotting the score at that point put the Yankees in position to use their favorite bullpen formula, Dellin Betances in the eighth and Andrew Miller in the ninth.

Masahiro Tanaka, who had a strong outing (two runs, five hits, one walk, seven strikeouts, one home run in seven innings) was off the hook with a no-decision. So, too, was Tampa Bay rookie Blake Snell, who held the Yankees to two hits and a walk with six strikeouts over five innings in an impressive major-league debut.

It was the Yankees’ more traditional weapon that settled Saturday’s game, a jolting home run by Gardner with two outs in the bottom of the ninth off Erasmo Ramirez, the only righthander in the game for the Rays.

Stacking lefties against the Yankees is a tactic by opponents. Cash will throw another lefthander, Drew Smyly, against the Yankees and Michael Pineda Sunday in the series finale. The idea, of course, is to neutralize Ellsbury and Gardner, left-handed outfielders at the top of the batting order. Yankees manager Joe Girardi had taken to sitting one of them and using right-handed Aaron Hicks in the outfield against lefties, but Hicks got hurt Friday night and will be out for several more days because of traumatic bursitis in his left shoulder, so Ellsbury and Gardner were both in the lineup and had a huge game.

They combined to reach base five times in 10 plate appearances. Gardner had both RBI for the Yankees. Their other run was scored in the first inning on a wild pitch by Snell, who settled down after that. It was the first walk-off victory for the Yankees this season, and the second game-winning homer of Gardner’s career. The other was Aug. 11, 2013 against the Tigers.

Gardner has been the Yankees’ most consistent hitter on the homestand by batting .444 with five runs, two doubles, two home runs, four RBI and five walks in seven games and 25 at-bats.

This has been a big bounce back series for the Yanks, who were swept by Oakland and dropped two of three to Seattle in stumbling into last place in the American League East. They switched places with the Rays with the victories Friday night and Saturday.

Before the game, the Yankees saluted CC Sabathia, wife and mother Marge for their PitCCh In Foundation’s initiative to renovate a baseball field at Claremont Park in the Bronx. The Sabathia’s thanked supporters of the project to refurbish the facility at the corner of Clay and Webster Avenues at a cost of approximately $500,000. Partners involved with the Claremont Park project included members from the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the Yankees, the New York Police Department’s 44th Precinct and Roc Nation. The Foundation dedicated the field renovation to the Rolando Paulino Little League, which was represented by board member Emily Rufino and Little League players Justin Zapata and Elias Barcacel

Rest benefits three Yanks who support CC

That day of rest Friday paid off for Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran Saturday. The trio combined for five hits in 12 at-bats (.417), including two home runs, in the Yankees’ 8-4 victory over a Detroit team that had shut them out on three hits Friday. Six of the Yankees’ runs were scored by one of three aging veterans who were on the bench the day before.

Those booming bats proved comforting to CC Sabathia, who was perfect through three innings and had a 6-0 lead by the fourth. Sabathia was the first Yankees starting pitcher to take the ball into the seventh inning this year. Manager Joe Girardi decided not to push the big guy any further after the lefthander gave up a leadoff single in the seventh on his 90th pitch.

No longer the overpowering pitcher he was back when he was winning the American League Cy Young Award, Sabathia relied on cut fastballs and sliders to get through the Tigers’ deep lineup with a bevy of right-handed pop. CC did walk four batters after the Yankees had not issued a free pass the previous two games. He had a tough fourth inning when Detroit used three walks and two singles to score two runs. The Tigers got the first two batters on base in the fifth, but Sabathia defused the rally as he initiated a double play on a comebacker by Justin Upton and then retired Miguel Cabrera on another ground ball.

Sabathia was encouraged toward the end of last season when he was 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his final five starts pitching with a new brace on his troublesome right knee. However, his spring training was nothing tonight home about (1-3, 5.51 ERA) as he barely beat out Ivan Nova for the fifth starter’s spot. Sabathia’s effort Saturday was a positive sign that he can still batters out despite a noted drop in velocity.

Rodriguez gave CC a lead before he took the mound with an impressive home run to center field with two out in the first inning off Mike Pelfrey, the off-season, free-agent acquisition who pitched poorly in his first outing for the Tigers (six earned runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings). It was career homer No.688 for Rodriguez, who had homered in his first at-bat in the spring but did not go deep again after that until Saturday.

McCann continued his career success against Pelfrey with a leadoff single in the second and came around to score on a two-out single by Didi Gregorius. McCann walked in the fourth and was again driven home by Gregorius, this time on a sacrifice fly. In 43 career at-bats against Pelfrey, McCann has batted .465 with eight doubles, two home runs and seven walks. Much of their history dates to their years in the National League East when McCann was with the Braves and Pelfrey the Mets.

A bases-loaded triple later in the fourth by Jacoby Ellsbury spelled the end for Pelfrey. McCann got his second single of the game with one down in the fifth and scored on Beltran’s second home run of the season, a jolting blow to right-center off reliever Buck Farmer.

It was certainly a much stronger lineup the  Tigers faced Saturday than Friday. Starlin Castro bounced back from a 0-for-4 game Friday with two hits Saturday, including career No. 1,000 on a single in the seventh. Ronald Torreys got a start at third base and had three singles to raise his batting average to .800.

Yes, it is April.

Statement from CC Sabathia

Here is the statement from CC Sabathia, who announced that he will enter an alcohol rehabilitation center and will not pitch in the postseason for the Yankees:

“Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.

“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.

“I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.

“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.

“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids – and others who may have become fans of mine over the years – to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.

“I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.”

CC, Warren, long ball clich wild card spot for Yanks

Finally.

In what seemed a foregone conclusion at the start of the final homestand of the regular season that the Yankees would clinch their first postseason appearance in three seasons, it took until the last home game of 2015 for them to make it a reality.

After three straight losses to the Red Sox, the Yankees ended the agonizing path to a wild-card playoff berth Thursday night with a 4-1 victory over their long-time rivals. The Yankees were able to taste some champagne before (and perhaps during) their charter flight to Baltimore where they will start a three-game series Friday night (weather permitting) with one more task remaining, that of guaranteeing they are the home team for the wild-card game next Tuesday night.

Just qualifying for that game had been a chore for the Yanks, who were eliminated from the American League East race Tuesday by the division champion Blue Jays. Boston put up a roadblock for three nights, but the Yankees broke through on a damp, chilly night in a game that was played through a steady drizzle over the first six innings.

Having had trouble hitting with runners in scoring position in the series (6-for-29, 30 runners left on base in 27 innings), the Yanks resorted to their traditional ally — the home run — to provide the support for the quality pitching supplied by CC Sabathia, Adam Warren and Dellin Betances.

Solo shots by Carlos Beltran off starter Rich Hill in the second inning, Greg Bird off Jean Machi in the seventh and Rob Refsnyder off Heath Hembree in the eighth powered the Yankees to the 10,000th victory in franchise history. The other RBI for the Yankees was by Brendan Ryan on a two-out single off Hill in the second.

The hearty souls in the announced crowd of 40,033 at Yankee Stadium were rewarded for their endurance under miserable weather conditions.

Upon returning from the disabled list Sept. 9 after recovering from right knee inflammation, Sabathia vowed to have impact on the Yankees’ drive to the postseason, and he did exactly that. The big lefthander held Boston to one run, six hits and three walks (one intentional) with three strikeouts in five innings. In five starts since his return from the DL, Sabathia was 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in 29 innings.

Sabathia leads the Yankees in innings pitched with 167 1/3. Excluding the strike-shortened seasons of 1981 and 1994, the Yankees have never completed a season in which no pitcher reached 170 innings.

Even more impressive Thursday night was Warren, who supplied three innings of shutout, one-hit, three-strikeout relief. Manager Joe Girardi planned to have Warren pitch out of the bullpen in the wild card game, so nailing down Thursday night’s game meant that Warren does not have to bs used as a starter in Baltimore.

Betances worked the ninth and retired the side on order with two strikeouts for his ninth save. Betances’ game-ending strikeout of Josh Rutledge was the 589th punchout by the Yankees’ bullpen this season, which ties the major league record set in 2012 by the Rockies. The Yanks will likely establish a new standard sometime over the weekend.

This year’s Yankees are the first team in major league history to have seven pitchers get at least 100 strikeouts in a season. Prior to this season, they had never had more than five pitchers reach triple-digit strikeouts in a season (four times, most recently 2013).

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