The Yankees got themselves back on the path of victory on Tuesday night thanks in large part to a lights out pitching performance by Michael Pineda. I'm no longer greedy enough to ask for something identical from CC Sabathia, but something like a "too dimly lit to read" pitching performance from him would have been nice. It definitely would have gone a long way in helping to secure the Yankees' 6th straight series victory. Instead we got more of what's become the new normal for CC and a disappointing L to send the team to Baltimore for the weekend. Sabathia's troubles started early. A bunt single and a double by the first 2 Toronto batters put them in business in the bottom of the 2nd, and a misplaced slider to Ezequiel Carrera turned into a 2-run single and a lead that Toronto would never relinquish. They tacked on another run in the 4th on a leadoff single by Russell Martin, a balk, and a Chris Colabello ribbie single on another poorly-located slider, and another in the 6th on a solo home run by Martin. CC didn't have his fastball command again and that made all his other pitches less effective. Why Joe decided to leave him in the game as long as he did is beyond me.
The Yankees actually did hold a brief lead in this game thanks to a Chris Young single, Alex Rodriguez double, and Mark Teixeira RBI groundout in the top of the 1st, but that was all they would get off Toronto starter Mark Buehrle, whom the Yankees have owned for the better part of a decade. They squandered leadoff hits against him in the 3rd and 4th innings and didn't generate much against the bullpen once he exited after 5. Put a baserunner on in every inning, but couldn't do anything with any of them. I guess that'll happen when you remove a major offensive threat like Gregorio Petit from the equation.
Once CC hit the showers the game was in the hands of the well-rested lower level of the bullpen. Esmil Rogers and Chasen Shreve combined to give up 1 more run on 3 hits in their 1.2 innings. Not the way you want to see a series finish when you think back to where it was on Monday night, but nothing they can do about it now. Just have to be better the next series.
- Not a bad 2015 debut for Jose Pirela, who went 2-4 with a double and a K at the dish. He also got thrown out trying to advance to third after his double and didn't light the world on fire defensively, but if he's going to hit he's going to play. Believe that.
- 9 hits and only 5 swinging strikes for CC in his 6+ innings and 100+ pitches. The fact that he still gets that much rope is a problem, but the greater problem is the fact that he's just too hittable these days. That's 47 hits and 6 home runs against in 38.0 IP. He hasn't improved his fastball command, hitters can square it up whenever they want, and it's making his offspeed stuff less threatening and less effective.
- Nobody in the lineup outside of Pirela had more than 1 hit tonight. A-Rod and Teix each got on base more than once with a hit and a BB apiece and Stephen Drew drew 2 walks to go with his 0-2 night.
- Speaking of which, do yourself a favor and follow Is Stephen Drew .200 on Twitter if you're into that kind of thing. I saw the first tweet and burst out laughing. Sometimes it really is the simple things in life.
- In all seriousness, congrats to Mark Buehrle for finally getting himself a win against the Yankees. It was starting to become pathetic.