Some news and notes before we get to the recap of a rare Yankee win on a Fox broadcast. Javier Vazquez is apparently suffering through a dead arm period. The Yankees are saying this is a minor issue that will require only fewer bullpen sessions to heal. If that's the case then I'd like to recommend changing the name of this ailment.
In a twist for the bizarre, Lance Berkman accidentally hit Alex Rodriguez with a line drive during batting practice when A-Rod was talking to Joe Buck. A-Rod is day-to-day, but was scratched from today's lineup. He has also proved that under no circumstances should you ever talk to Joe Buck.
All that happened before CC Sabathia took to the mound, and became CC once again. After a few shaky but not terrible starts CC lasted 8 innings on only 101 pitches against the Red Sox this afternoon, allowing only 2 runs on 6 hits. Sabathia was a little shaky at first, allowing 2 runs to score in the top of the 2nd, but he settled down after that and turned in a dominating performance.
John Lackey, on the other hand, was off. He lasted only 6 innings on 116 pitches, allowing all 5 runs on 8 hits. There was no big hit or big inning, but the closest thing was four consecutive hits from Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada in the bottom of the 5th. That sequence broke a 2-2 tie, and pretty much sealed the game with the way CC was pitching.
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were terrible, as usual. It was particularly galling to hear them talk about how much of a competitor John Lackey is, how he uses all that energy and determination to grind through mediocre starts, like this one (season ERA: 4.60). In one sequence Lackey slammed his glove down in the dugout, with his pitching hand. Do you think Buck and McCarver would have positive things to say if A.J. Burnett did the same thing?
They also fawned over Robinson Cano to the point that it was creepy. I love Robbie as much as the next guy, but McCarver's man crush on the Yankee 2nd baseman really is a bridge too far. Cano, if you're reading this, stay away from those guys.
Mariano Rivera was perfect in the 9th inning to end a game that went by the book. Rivera picked up his 23rd save on the season, and has lowered his ERA to a ridiculous 0.89! Perhaps more impressive is Mo's WHIP, which sits at a miniscule 0.61. Unfortunately Mo is only on pace to throw 59 innings this year, or he would need to figure into the Cy Young conversation.
After the horrors of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver I'll actually be relieved to hear Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips tomorow, probably because I'm suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. The game starts at 8pm. A.J. Burnett faces off against Josh Beckett in a rematch of last year's 15 inning affair. Given the seasons these two have been having I'm predicting a lot of crooked numbers, and perhaps even a few injuries.
On a final note, Toronto put the smack down on Tampa Bay, hitting 8 home runs and scoring 17 runs. Big game James Shields gave up 6 of them. Tampa Bay plated 11 runs in a noble effort, but fell to 1.5 games back of the 1st place Yankees. The Rays have now lost 4 in a row.