The Yankees polished off a four game sweep as well as their season long domination of the Athletics behind another masterful performance from their big man.
For most of August, C.C. Sabathia carried the entire burden of the starting rotation, constantly being called upon to pick up the pieces after a disastrous outing the game before. On this afternoon, however, he was given the opportunity to post book-end victories on a six game winning streak. The matinee finale also gave C.C. Sabathia the chance to avenge his April 22 defeat to Dallas Braden, which also happened to be the only victory the Athletics were able to muster in the season series.
Braden’s second confrontation with Sabathia wasn’t the only rematch of interest. As most probably remember (those who may have forgotten were reminded constantly by Michael Kay), the early season loss to Braden featured the infamous mound incident with Alex Rodriguez. Unfortunately, Arod’s injured hip prevented the two parties from renewing acquaintances, but both men reportedly already patched up their differences, so perhaps Rodriguez absence from the lineup avoided an unnecessary distraction.
Aside from a second inning solo blast to Jorge Posada, Braden matched Sabathia over the first five innings as the game flew by at a brisk pace. In the sixth inning, however, Braden succumbed to the 90-plus degree heat and was forced to leave the stage all to Sabathia. Over his eight innings, the Yankees’ lefty was the star of the show, limiting the A’s to one hit, a clean single by Mark Ellis into right field. Aside from having to pitch around a Posada error in the third and two walks to start the eighth, Sabathia easily navigated the Athletics lineup and called it a day after only 95 pitches.
After Braden left the game in the sixth, the Yankees, or more specifically Curtis Granderson, immediately went to work on the A’s bullpen. Granderson, who only entered the game when Nick Swisher pulled up lame with soreness in his knee, belted a two run blast of lefty Jerry Blevins in the sixth and then, in the seventh, added a solo shot off Michael Wuertz for good measure.
Jonathan Albaladejo, who was promoted when the rosters were expanded, closed out the game with a hitless frame, something he was quite successful doing at triple-A. While at Scranton, Albaladejo racked up 43 saves, which led the International League.
By pushing himself to the brink of 20 wins and a sub-three ERA, C.C. Sabathia not only helped the Yankees build their lead over the Rays by a half game, but he also continued to bolster his case for the Cy Young award. The only hardware likely on the big lefty’s mind, however, is another ring. If Sabathia can carry his dominance into October, he may soon be wearing it on his finger.
- The Yankees 11-1 record in the season series represents their best winning percentage against the Athletics in the two franchises’ 110 years of playing each other.
- C.C. Sabathia improved his record at Yankee Stadium to 11-0. Sabathia has also pitched in 21 straight home games without a loss, tying Whitey Ford’s franchise record that was set from August 8, 1964 to August 18, 1965.
- Curtis Granderson belted two home runs in a game for the sixth time in his career and second time this season.
- Granderson also became the third Yankee to hit two home runs in a game he didn’t start. The two others who accomplished the feat were Cody Ransom (September 26, 2008 versus Boston) and Steve Balboni (May 23, 1990 versus Minnesota).
Most Consecutive Games Started at Home Without a Loss, Since 1920