Game 77 Recap: Angels 4 Yankees 1

Sabathia vs LAA The Yankees' first trip out west roughly a month ago netted them 4 wins and 2 losses.  They started this latest one off with a 4-game split in Houston before making their way out to Cali for a 3-game set with the Angels.  The bats weren't around very often in Texas and they didn't make the trip out to LA either last night as the Yanks dropped the series opener.

The bar has been set impossibly low for CC Sabathia at this point.  Anything more than 5 innings pitched and less 4 earned runs allowed seems like a major victory.  Sabathia managed to do that last night and still ended up not really pitching that well.  He gave up a run in the bottom of the 1st on a 2-out RBI double by Albert Pujols.  No shame in that, nor is there shame in giving up a home run to Mike Trout, which CC did with 2 outs in the bottom of the 3rd.  But giving up another homer to C.J. Cron?  That's bad.  Even worse when it was on a 3-1 fastball down the middle of the plate.  CC does that in every start and it costs him in every start.  Figure it out, man!

Not that those 3rd and 4th runs really mattered much.  The Yankees scored 1 run in the top of the 3rd, on a Didi Gregorius walk and singles by Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez, and then never again.  And they had plenty of chances.  Gardner doubled to lead off the game in the 1st, they had the bases loaded in the 3rd, 2 on and 2 out in the 5th, and 2 on and nobody out in the 7th.  But Gardner got thrown out at third base to end the 1st, Teix grounded out in the 5th, and Trout robbed Chris Young of extra-base hits twice (!!!) in the 3rd and 5th.  A combination of bad baseball, bad timing, and bad luck.  Sometimes that happens.  Seems to happen more often when the Yankees aren't hitting at home.

For some reason, Sabathia was sent out to start the 8th inning.  Not sure why Joe needed to save the bullpen after Big Mike just did that the day before, but whatever.  Maybe he was trying to get CC an extra strikeout to build confidence or some dumb crap like that.  Sabathia pitched to 1 batter and left for Nick Rumbelow, who got the final 2 outs after walking Trout.

Game Notes:

- CC's line: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K.  It doesn't look that bad at first glance, not by CC's new lower standards.  But that doesn't take into account the fact that 4 of those hits scored runs and came with 2 outs and doesn't include the 2 home runs.  Those are the crushers and they happen all too often to CC these days.  His 19 homers allowed this season leads the Majors.

- Reigning AL Player of the Week Gardner continued to do his thing, going 3-5 with 2 doubles.  Not often you see a leadoff hitter do that and not score a run.

- To that point, the Yankees were 1-10 with RISP as a team last night.  Ouch.

- Carlos Beltran and Didi Gregorius each had 2 hits.  The rest of the team went 1-20 with 3 BB.

- Home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez had a healthy strike zone last night, to put it mildly.  I feel like that's been a legitimate gripe for the Yankees a lot lately.  Is that true?  It doesn't excuse the poor offensive showings, but it could be a contributing factor.

- Jacoby Ellsbury Update: Played his first MiL rehab game last night for High-A Tampa and went 0-3 with a BB as the DH.  He's scheduled to play center field tonight and could rejoin the Major League club by Friday.