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Yankees 1, Rays 5: Whifftastic at the Trop, but CC’s control fails him early

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CC and Moore combine for 17 K's total, but early control issues results in a loss for CC and the Yankees.

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Matt Moore dealing 9 K's on the night.
Matt Moore dealing 9 K's on the night.
J. Meric

K’s/ip

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Totals

C.C.

2

2

0

2

0

1

1

-

8

Moore

2

0

1

3

1

1

0

1

9

Everything was looking Whifferific as expected in the first inning, with Matt Moore notching 2 Ks in the top of the frame and CC Sabathia striking out Desmond Jennings to lead off the bottom of the inning. However, on an 0-2 count Sabathia threw a slider that caught too much of the plate to Ryan Roberts, who launched his first home run of the year. More troubles ensued following a two out single to Evan Longoria. A thigh high 90 mph fastball to Sean Rodriguez resulted in a triple just past the outreached glove of Brennan Boesch in right field. The very next pitch to Yunel Escobar caught a similar part of the plate, but this time was deposited over the right field wall to extend the Rays lead to 4-0.

The Rays have actually been pretty good so far in this short season when facing left handed starters. Entering tonight their record was 8-10, but 4-1 just against lefties. The Yankees were 10-7 and 3-2 likewise, but right handed hitting Kevin Youkilis couldn’t fill the clean-up spot tonight after his back started to bark again during batting practice. The injury forced the Yankees to send four left handed hitters to face lefty throwing Moore without one of their best righty hitters in Youkilis.

Roberts led off the third inning taking CC deep again. This time it was on a 3-1 count that saw catcher Francisco Cervelli’s glove travel from the outside to the inside of the plate. His second solo shot of the game extended the Rays lead to 5-0. Sabathia did settle down to last through the seventh inning, but the damage had been done.

The Yankees finally got their first run, and first hit of the night, when Robinson Cano turned a Moore curve ball into a no-doubter in the fourth inning. Cano showed no signs of distraction from the pre-game story linking an associate of his to the Biogenesis clinic, at least on that at bat. Another story, released shortly after the first, claims that there is no reported link between Cano and Biogenesis directly. Nevertheless, a chorus of boos was audible on the telecast as Cano rounded the bases that sounded louder than the normal reaction from the home town fans.

In the end, Moore was dominant, going 8 innings, yielding only one run on two hits, three walks, with nine Ks, while picking up his fourth win in April. Moore has clearly extended his successful second half of 2012 into the new season, and improved on his K% into elite status. On the other hand, Sabathia struggled with his command in the early innings, and poor location led to three home runs, none of which were from the Rays' biggest slugging threats. Tonight was an example of the dark side for CC with his diminished velocity. When he struggles with is control inside the strike zone, he’s going to get hit more severely than in the past.

Tomorrow, Phil Hughes will try to break the Yankees' two-game losing streak when he faces the Rays, who send last year’s Cy Young winning David Price to the hill. Hopefully the Trop will prove more conducive to success for Hughes’ fly ball tendencies.

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