A strong performance by CC Sabathia was not enough as the New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 Saturday night. But reports indicate that Derek Jeter will be back Monday to straighten the ship and move the Yankees full speed ahead.
In the fifth inning, the Yankees loaded the bases as Austin Romine stepped to the plate. Romine battled Rays’ pitcher David Price before working a walk to force home a run and give the Yankees the lead.
Ichiro Suzuki then bounced a ball off the turf and high into the air. Romine, showing smart base running, hesitated on his way to second base to force the Rays to by pass the double play and settle for an out at first. Because Ichiro hit the ball so high there was not enough time to get the double play. Vernon Wells scored to make it 2-0. In the top of the sixth, Alfonso Soriano hit a towering fly ball that just missed going out and adding another Yankee run.
And Sabathia was cruising along until the bottom of the sixth. His fastball was consistently at 95 mph and his curve was breaking sharply. Then he began to struggle as the Rays put up three runs.
“It just looked like he lost his command a little bit in that inning,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That was the difference in the game. You look at what he did the first five innings, and then he kind of regrouped after he gave up the three runs and threw the ball well again.”
Mark Reynolds showed his defensive prowess on two different plays. He snagged a line drive on one play, and then hustled to first base on another to make a diving tag as Sabathia was late getting over to cover the bag.
Sabathia pitched 6 1/3 innings in all, allowing six hits and striking out seven.
With The Captain back at the helm, it’s time to go full speed ahead.