With Casey Crosby making his major league debut tonight and Will Smith of the Royals making his a few weeks ago, the Yankees have bombed the last two rookie starters that they've seen. Remember this when the Indians call up some guy from AAA and he throws six decent innings and you're told that this happens to them every single time.
The Yankees patient approach earned them four walks in the second inning, capped by a Curtis Granderson grand slam. Not nearly as sexy as the groundouts to the right side and sacrifice flies that teams need to have an effective offense, but they made it work for one day at least.
YES color commentator John Flaherty had this to contribute:
Well, Michael, when you look at the mental aspect of Chris Stewart's Chris Stewart, you can see that he really takes pride in his Chris Stewart. For example, when working with Chris Stewart, the Chris Stewart shows that Chris Stewart takes a professional approach with the Chris Stewarts in the clubhouse.
Chris Stewart is not CC Sabathia's personal catcher and Flash is not Chris Stewart's personal announcer. If the playoffs started tomorrow, Ken Singleton would be in the booth.
- CC Sabathia overcame a rocky first few innings to throw a very solid ballgame. Sabathia allowed three runs in his first three innings and needed thirty-nine pitches to escape an inning in which the Tigers sent eight men to the plate. That marathon inning put Sabathia at seventy-one pitches through only three frames. He was able to recover with some quick innings and complete seven, taking a load off of a short-handed bullpen.
- Sabathia threw thirty-five sliders. Twenty-seven were strikes and ten were swinging strikes. The last three or four years have shown something of a transition in his pitching philosophy. As a young flamethrower with the Indians, Sabathia relied heavily on a fastball in the mid 90s, but the past few seasons he has been much more trusting of the secondary pitches in his arsenal. Veteran presence will spring up out of nowhere if you're not careful.
- Alex Rodriguez hit a home run.
- Curtis Granderson's home run was off of a lefty. It's cool that he can still do that.
- Given a five run lead in the ninth inning, Clay Rapada promptly loaded the bases. Rafael Soriano was ready to be called upon the instant that it became defined in the rule book as a save situation -- not a moment before, of course -- and induced a double play to end the game.
- With the bullpen noticeably shortened by the absence of David Robertson and Mariano Rivera, the end-game strategy seems to be: Get as many outs as possible from the starting pitcher. Throw everyone but David Phelps and Freddy Garcia at the 7th and 8th innings by handedness. Soriano closes. The results have been good so far, but I hate seeing Cody Eppley facing Miguel Cabrera and watching some of the more effective relievers (Logan, Wade) routinely have such abbreviated outings.
- Hiroki Kuroda pitches tomorrow. Hiroki Kuroda has an ERA below four (3.96). Hasn't he been blown up like two out of every three starts? How did this happen and why wasn't I told.