Things didn’t start out so smoothly for the Yankees, as Sabathia allowed a triple to Michael Bourn in the game’s very first at bat, and with Bourn scoring on a groundball out the Yankees trailed on the scoreboard before they even got a chance to bat. The Braves added another run in the fifth via three consecutive singles, and with two on and one out the damage could have been even worse if Sabathia hadn’t managed to get a couple of ground outs to end things.
On the other side of things, Braves’ starter Mike Minor most certainly did get off to a good start, holding the Yankees hitless through the game’s first four innings and allowing just one walk in the process. The Yankees finally broke through for a hit on an Alex Rodriguez single to open the bottom of the fifth, and then made the most of the opportunity from there. Robinson Cano drew a walk and, after a strikeout by Andruw Jones, Russell Martin‘s double brought A-Rod home to it a 2-1 game and left the Yankees with runners on second and third with one out. After walking Jayson Nix Minor almost worked out of trouble by popping up Chris Stewart and getting ahead in the count to Derek Jeter, but The Captain battled back to a full count before shooting Minor’s 3–2 offering back up the middle for a two RBI single to give the Yankees the lead. And the offense had a good night when it came to getting the big hits when they needed them, going 3-7 with runners in scoring position, with Martin and Jeter delivering four RBI, the margin of victory, on those three hits.
The Yankees would add three more insurance runs via solo home runs by Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano, as well as another RBI hit from Jeter, but Sabathia already had the margin he needed, as he completely shut down the Braves’ lineup once the Yankees had the lead. Sabathia would hold the Braves to just one hit over the game’s final four innings while collecting six of his 10 strikeouts in the game. All in all the big man allowed just seven hits and one walk to go with the two runs Atlanta managed to eke out in one of his best performances of the season. It’s scary to think that, for as good as the Yankees’ rotation has been over the last three weeks, the one guy who looks like he’s still waiting to fully break out is Sabathia. Or at least I would think that would be scary if you were wearing another American League team’s uniform.