Tonight's 6-2 Victory in Three Points
1) CC Sabathia tossed a complete game and allowed just seven hits as the Yankees beat the Braves and notched their first ten-game winning streak since May 2005. The big lefty surrendered a couple runs to put the Yankees in a 2-0 hole, but he got better as the game went along. After the Yankees rallied to give him the lead, CC set down twelve of the Braves' final thirteen hitters, with six of his ten strikeouts occurring after the fifth inning. CC is a monster and will eat all of the innings.
2) After facing the minimum through four innings and being given a two-run lead, Braves starter Mike Minor imploded in the fifth, surrendering three runs on three hits and two walks. Surprise-DH Russell Martin laced a 3-0 pitch down the left field line for a run-scoring ground-rule double. A hapless fan interfered with the play, which likely would have scored Robinson Cano from first. Fortunately, Derek Jeter let the fan off the hook by grounding a two-run single up the middle a few batters later with the bases loaded. The Yankees had the lead, and they would not relinquish it. Meanies.
3) Don't worry (or do). The Yankees did hit some dingers today, as Mark Teixeira connected against Minor for a solo blast to left field in the sixth and Cano sent one out to straightaway center, toward Miller Huggins in Monument Park. The Yankees now have 101 homers on the year, leading all of baseball, but they should stop or something.
Tonight's 6-2 Victory in Visual Form
Tonight's 6-2 Victory in Several Hundred Words
The game did not get off to a great start for the Yankees, as speedy Braves outfielder Michael Bourn lined CC Sabathia's second pitch of the game to the left-centerfield wall for a leadoff triple, then scored on a groundout. The Braves kept coming close to scoring more runs in the next few innings, but CC kept stranding runners on the bases thanks to consistent pitching and a double play in the fourth. CC gave up a second run in the fifth thanks to three singles (one of which went off his glove), but he kept the Yankees within two runs entering the bottom of the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, Mike Minor was giving the Yankees fits again. Despite his unsightly 2012 numbers, there's a reason he is still considered an important young starter for the Braves, as evinced by his 3.39 FIP in 2011 and his start against the Yankees last Tuesday (7.1 innings, five hits, one run). Minor walked Alex Rodriguez in the second, but retired him on a double play from Robinson Cano, so despite the hiccup, Minor had faced the minimum through four innings. Though some people might have been thinking "no-hitter" when Minor took the mound in the fifth, A-Rod ended those thoughts with a clean single to center. Minor started to unravel, and he threw a wild pitch to advance the centaur to second before Cano walked to put the first two men on to start the fifth. Minor then struck out Andruw Jones (who had awful day--hitless in four at bats with three strikeouts. Shape up, Druw!) before giving up the aforementioned RBI double to Martin. Minor walked Jayson Nix, but retired Chris Stewart on a foul out behind first, so he had the chance to escape the inning with a 2-1 lead. The Captain thought the idea of Minor escaping was folly, and he hit a 3-2 pitch up the middle to give the Yankees the lead.
The remainder of the game went by fairly quickly; the Yankees tacked on a few more runs against Minor and the Braves bullpen. After the solo homer from Evil Tex, they took advantage of a shocking double from Stewart against reliever Kris Medlen to add on a fifth run on another single from Jeter. The Captain looks to be stopping his parachute fall thanks to his now-nine-game hitting streak, so that's great to see. It would be unfair to expect Jeter to return to his ridiculous April numbers, but a little below that would be terrific. CC set the Braves down in order in eighth, but some fans had to wonder whether or not manager Joe Girardi would automatically turn to either Rafael Soriano or David Robertson for the save since the lead was only three runs. Cano ended the discussion with a solo homer, and CC finished the game off by striking out the face of the Braves' past (Chipper Jones) and the face of their future (Jason Heyward). Well played, Carsten Charles. Well played.
The Yankees will try to pull off their first 11-game winning streak since 1985 tomorrow as Hiroki Kuroda takes on Tim Hudson. Good times in Yankeeland.
Highlights. Box score. FanGraphs.
Comment of the Game: waw for explaining why IGYAR is ill.