CC Sabathia gave up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt in a shaky first inning, but proved he was every bit the definition of an ace by settling in for eight innings, allowing only one additional run via a sac fly in the fifth. Most mortal pitchers might not have been able to recover from a long first inning that didn't go anything according to plan enough to hand the ball directly to the closer, but CC Sabathia very much is that kind of pitcher and that is why he has been so valuable in his time in New York.
After allowing three hits in the first inning, including the Goldschmidt homer, CC gave up only three more in the following seven innings while striking out six and walking just one. Diamondbacks' starter Wade Miley silenced the Yankee offense for most of the game, allowing only two hits before the seventh inning. Fortunately for the Yankees, that's where his dominance began to crack and they were able to break through.
With one out in the inning, Ben Francisco picked up his first hit as a Yankee with a single that would get the rally started. After a Brennan Boesch double and a walk to Eduardo Nunez to load the bases, Miley walked Jayson Nix to drive in the first Yankee run of the game. Tony Sipp came on to replace Miley, and Brett Gardner singled to plate two runners and tie the score at three-all. The Yankees left two runners in scoring position when Vernon Wells decided to swing at the first pitch he saw, resulting in a weak groundout to end the inning and the threat.
Mariano Rivera was warming up to come into a tie game, because that's what the book of baseball tells you to do with your closer at home in a tie game, but Travis Hafner pinch hit for Ben Francisco and drove a ball deep to right field to put the Yankees on top for the first time and for good. Rivera came in, worked his 1-2-3 magic, and the Yankees grabbed an exciting victory from what looked like almost certain defeat with a weak lineup against lefties that was silent for nearly the entire game.
The triple play game against the Baltimore Orioles is still the best win of the season so far, and it will take quite a lot to top it, but this game may just rank second in my mind. Late inning heroics are always exciting and this one really looked like it might get away from them early until CC found a way to keep them in the game until it was time for the Sandman.
Phil Hughes gets the start tomorrow as the Yankees go for the sweep in their first interleague series of the season. He'll oppose Patrick Corbin, who has pitched very well to this point in 2013, starting at 7:05. Please be better than you've been, Phil.
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