Sabathia pitched the kind of game the Yankees have been hoping for weeks. And it could not have come at a better time. He threw eight shutout innings and gave up only three hits and two walks and struck out eleven batters. He was at 113 pitches after his eighth inning and Joe Girardi did not let him go out in the ninth to complete the shutout. Girardi’s decision is defensible in that Sabathia had to work out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the eighth to preserve the 1-0 score.
Instead, Rafael Soriano was asked to go after another save and this time could not get it done. With one out, Moss pinch hit for Chris Carter and golfed a low slider out of the park. Soriano was not at his best and the batter before Moss, Yoenis Cespedes, hit a deep drive to center to the biggest part of the park. And Soriano would put two more base runners on after Moss’s homer before escaping without further damage.
For the second straight outing against the Yankees, Jarrod Parker shut them down for eight innings and was only mildly less effective than Sabathia. The only run Parker allowed during his eight inning outing was scored in the fourth inning. Nick Swisher led off that inning with a single to right. After a Robinson Cano fly out, Alex Rodriguez singled to center and Swisher took third. Swisher’s base running there was important because it allowed Curtis Granderson to hit an opposite field fly ball to score Swisher.
Parker matched his outing in Oakland as he went eight innings, allowing just the one run on six hits and no walks. He struck out seven Yankees. Two of the hits he did allow were erased on the bases,one on a double-play and the other when Ichiro Suzuki was thrown out at second trying to stretch a single into a double.
The pitching duel all led up to the climax of the game when Russell Martin came to the plate in the bottom of the tenth. Doolittle, working into his second inning, threw a 0-1 fastball to Russell and the catcher crushed it deep to left. There was a happy pile of Yankees waiting at home plate for him when he arrived.
There is not too much else to report. This one was all pitching and then those two dramatic homers. Ichiro went two for three with a stolen base and made a nice running catch in left. His first hit comically was hit back to Parker and went inside the pitcher’s shirt for an infield single. When your hot, you are hot. Alex Rodriguez was the only other Yankee with multiple hits as he went 2-4. Curtis Granderson did knock in his 94th run with this sac fly but struck out his other three appearances. He now has 182 K’s on the season. Derek Jeter picked up his 203 hit of the season but also struck out twice, once with men in scoring position to end an inning. The homer was Martin’s 18th of the season. Not too many of them were more important or dramatic than that one.