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Yankees 6, Indians 4: complete, almost perfect

CC flirts with perfection, Pronk and GGBG go yard, Ichiro passes Ted Williams, and the Lyle Overbay Experiment reaches its third game as the Yanks sweep the Tribe.

Jim McIsaac

The Yankees hit the road for a west coast road trip having swept the Indians and salvaging a .500 homestand after being swept by the Mets (five of the most depressing words you'll ever read in sequence) and losing two of three to the Red Sox (which is somewhat less embarrassing, but still annoying).

Such a pity that the Yanks don't play the Indians anymore in 2013 (barring a postseason matchup, which would be an upset for at least one of these teams), as the Yanks have owned them this season, culminating in this week's sweep.

Flirting with perfection

CC Sabathia retired the first 14 batters he faced before giving up a dunker to Mike Aviles. Cleveland would then get two runs on some cheap hits and forceouts, then Yan Gomes provided two more with a homer that followed a Michael Brantley single.

Still, the score made the game look way closer than it was. CC ended up with nine strikeouts, only one walk (to old pal Nick Swisher), and it felt like a blowout even when it got as close as two runs. Very encouraging results from the big guy. May it continue the trend started when he made the Red Sox look foolish last Friday.

Hey, look, runs!

After the nightmares against the two opponents in the 1986 World Series, it was nice to see the offense actually work and stuff. Folks got on base, then more folks hit home runs. Travis Hafner went deep again, and Brett Gardner, who came into this game with a higher slugging percentage than Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, clubbed a three-run dinger to put the game away.

Not that it was all perfect. Robinson Cano still looks lost at the plate, as does Vernon Wells, who hit a soft lineout to second base with the bases loaded and a chance to put the game away. Of course, Wells was only the third out of the inning because somebody decided it was a good idea for the guy who hit a three-run homer earlier to bunt Chris Stewart to second base after he had a leadoff walk. Yet another case of #buntfucking with Brett Gardner. It is to weep.

For that matter, Ichiro Suzuki, in as a defensive replacement for Lyle Overbay (starting his third straight game, and also third game ever, in right field), was kind enough to beat out an infield single to lead off the eighth, then go to second on a wild pitch and third on a groundout, but nobody could get him home.

Still, the Yanks got all the offense they'd need in the first two innings, which was good as Corey Kluber settled down after spending those first two frames giving up meatball after meatball, and the Tribe bullpen held serve.

How-some-ever, CC wasn't letting his former team have any comebacks. On a day when the bullpen needed a rest (both David Robertson and Mariano Rivera had appeared in the previous two games), Sabathia provided his first complete game of the year, and he only needed 116 pitches to do it.

Other stuff

Vernon Wells continues his descent into, well, what we all expected to get out of Wells when the trade happened. More than once, including on Aviles's perfecto-breaker-upper, he seemed to have trouble judging the ball, and he just is looking helpless at the plate. It could be a slump, but it could also be his returning to form after a nice run. He has until Curtis Granderson comes back to let us know which it is.

Ichiro's aforementioned infield single put him ahead of Ted Williams for most hits in a career. As much fun as one can make of Ichiro now that he's past his prime, he's had one helluva career, and it'll be fun watching him move up a few leaderboards over the next two years, though probably not as many as we'd like him to.

Adam Warren and Mariano Rivera both warmed up in the ninth inning. No, I don't know why.

A rally was started by Overbay, Stewart, and Nix, which led to John Flaherty on YES talking about how great Stewart has been. Not that Flaherty would have any reason to overstate the accomplishments of a crap-hitting catcher with a great defensive reputation. (Apparently John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman were also extolling the virtues of both Stewart and Nix well beyond reason.) Look, it's nice when these guys help out, but they're not the second coming of Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada, and Derek Jeter. They're Plan C because Plan A started the season on the DL and Plan B went there after the season started.

West coast follies

The Yankees hop on the last plane for the coast, as they begin a four-game series at Safeco Field, followed by a couple of three-gamers in Oakland and Anaheim. (Oh boy, late-night games! Staying up till 3am! Fun!)