The New York Yankees took a page out the Baltimore Orioles magical season, when Russell Martin launched a ball into the left field seats for his second walk-off home run of the season. Not to be outdone, CC Sabathia looked like the ace the team has sorely missed over the past month, with a scoreless eight-inning, 11-strikeout performance. Unfortunate for him though, he took a no-decision as the bats couldn’t get going and the Rafael Soriano blew the slim 1-0 lead in the ninth inning.
Sabathia had his A+ stuff last night as his final line reads: eight innings, three hits, no runs, two walks, and 11 strikeouts. Like Ivan Nova‘s last start, Sabathia was able to locate on both sides of the plate and his slurve/slider was pretty much unhittable. Also, a telling sign that he might be making his way back to the CC of old, his fastball was regularly hitting 95 mph. The last few months he’s been right around 93-94 mph with the ole “number one.”
Keeping with the pitching side of things, A’s starter, Jarrod Parker, was every bit as good as Sabathia. He also gave Oakland length by matching Sabathia’s eight innings. He gave up six hits, one earned run, no walks, and seven strikeouts. However, it’s difficult to win when your offense only accumulates four hits in the game. Both bullpens will be well-rested going into the two weekend games.
As for the Yankees offense, there wasn’t much. Derek Jeter went 1-for-4 with a single, two strikeouts and left two on base, but he extended his hitting streak to 15 games. Alex Rodriguez had two singles in four at-bats. Meanwhile, Curtis Granderson picked up a sac fly in the fourth inning, but struck out three times bringing his season total up to 182.
The hero of the night, Russell Martin, continues his resurgence in the month of September with a .255/.375/.489 slash line. That might not seem like much, but when you’ve been fighting hitting .200 all year long, a .250 batting average feels more like hitting .330. As mentioned before, it’s the second walk-off home run for Martin this season. His first came against the New York Mets back on June 10.
Lost in all of this was Soriano’s blown save. One has to wonder if he’s just tired after recording two saves in the doubleheader against the Blue Jays a few days ago. After getting Yoenis Cespedes to flyout, he allowed his fifth home run of the year to Brandon Moss. More would have came of this if Martin hadn’t bailed him out in the bottom of the tenth. Overall though, It’s disheartening seeing Sabathia not rewarded for his great effort, but that’s how unfair baseball can be sometimes.
With the O’s winning against Boston (they’re no help at all), the Yankees remain only one game ahead in the division. Meanwhile, Ivan Nova (12-7, 4.85 ERA) looks to build on his great outing against the Tampa Bay Rays, where he struck out eight over six innings of two-run ball. He’ll face Travis Blackley (5-3, 3.65 ERA) in an afternoon game in the Bronx.