Tonight was a game of pitching and gold glove defense. For most of the night, neither offenses did much of anything, until one side finally broke through. CC Sabathia had an interesting start; he allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts over eight innings. This is exactly the kind of line you want to see from CC at this point in his career, you might even take less on a better night for the offense. Much has been said about his reinvention as a ground ball pitcher–and three double plays and five ground balls outs will back that up–but eight air outs, some getting hit pretty hard, is not always going to work out in the end.
In the second inning, Mark Teixeira hit a solo home run to right field and that was all either team could muster for the first six innings. After that, excitement circled around great defensive plays from both teams. In the second inning, Victor Martinez hit a shot off CC that looked out right off the bat. Thankfully, the wind might have stopped it at the warning track and Brett Gardner was there to make a leaping catch for the out. In the bottom of the fifth, V-Mart hit another ball that was destined for at least a double in the gap, but Jacoby Ellsbury was able to track it down and make a diving play in right-center. The next batter, J.D. Martinez, hit a line drive to left field that was caught after Gardner made a great dive back toward the infield. The Tigers got in on the action in the sixth when James McCann caught Ellsbury stealing and Jose Iglesias made a tremendous stop on a ground ball that was due for the outfield grass and made the long throw to nab Gardner at first.
Luck ran out for CC and the Yankees in the seventh inning when Rajai Davis singled and tagged on a fly ball. Sabathia got a double play ball, but Didi Gregorius was unable to get the out at second base after a wide throw. From there they intentionally walked Victor Martinez to set up another double play, but J.D. Martinez managed to single off the glove of Gregorius and score the tying run. Yoenis Cespedes also singled to plate V-Mart and the Tigers took the lead.
While the Yankee offense couldn't do much against Alfredo Simon, they did get their fair share of hits. Brian McCann hit a double the other way, Chase Headley collected two singles, while Ellsbury and Gardner each had a hit of their own. Didi Gregorius nearly redeemed himself in the eighth when given the chance to bring in a runner in scoring position. Chase Headley singled and Stephen Drew moved him over with a sacrifice bunt. Didi singled to center field, but it wasn't deep enough to allow Headley to score. They held the runner at third, but nothing ever came together from there.
In the end, this game is very disappointing, but if you're looking for a silver lining, it would seem that CC Sabathia could still be useful for the Yankees. He pitched well tonight, but it could have been a lot worse if the weather was different and his luck was worse because seven fly outs won't play well in Yankee Stadium.