Game 90: Tigers @ Yankees, 7/18/09

Below, as per Pete Abraham, are today’s starting lineups.  A pair of aces take the bump today, with Verlander matching up against CC.  The Yanks put out the same lineup as last night, including Posada after a night game.  Mike Sommer and, presumably, other members of the LVYFC are at today’s game, and hopefully they will bring back the W.  Today is also the tenth anniversary of David Cone’s perfect game against Montreal.  I remember watching the game, coming home from a stint out with my wife and daughter, sometime around the third inning.  It was riveting, especially considering the ease with which Cone buzzed through the inexperienced Expos lineup.  All the better was that it occurred on a day when the Yanks celebrated Don Larsen’s own perfect game, the only one of its kind in post-season history, by having Larsen throw out the first pitch to Yogi.  With both in attendance, Cone allowed nothing to the Expos.  Brilliant in its poignant tribute.

More modestly, I’d settle for a Yankees win today.

YANKEES (52-37)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Cabrera CF

Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (8-6, 3.86).

TIGERS (48-40)
Granderson CF
Polanco 2B
Cabrera 1B
Thames DH
Ordonez RF
Raburn LF
Inge 3B
Laird C
Everett SS

Pitching: RHP Justin Verlander (10-4, 3.38).

The First: CC had a fairly long first, 24 pitches while allowing a walk and a double on a ball JD misjudged badly, before getting Ordonez out F8.  I think I might have underestimated JD’s defensive problems in my mid-season grades.  In the bottom, Jeter started with a single but was caught stealing on a terrific throw by Laird.  JD and Teixeira went down without much trouble.

The Second:  Sabathia again not working efficiently, allowing a one-out walk to Inge and a single, then a wild pitch to Granderson allowed the runners to move to second and third.  The inefficiency of the Yankee staff has really been tedious, but CC fanned the tough Granderson on a 95-mph fastball tailing away.  Nice pitch, also his 51st in the first two innings.  Verlander is dealing, getting Jorge looking on all three pitches. He’s at 36 through 2.

The Third: Nice charging play by Cano on a slow roller from Polanco, who chased a low, sinking changeup, for the first out.  Cabrera lined a 3-2 single to right.   But a 6-4-3 DP on the first pitch to Thames gave Sabathia a 10-pitch inning.  Hopefully the Yanks can work up Verlander’s pitch count with some base runners.  Cano was retired on a first-pitch grounder.  He’s terrific on first-pitch swings, but could he really not deviate from that for an at-bat to make Verlander work for a change.  Swish fanned on a nasty slider for the second out.  Melky was retired on a weak pop to short, and Verlander had a fast, 8-pitch third, 44 pitches in all.  He’s dealing, while CC has held the Tigers at bay through three.

The Fourth: CC led off with a walk, then a wild pitch allowed Ordonez second.  A comebacker from Raurn would have been a 1-6-3 DP ball without the wild pitch, but instead was just the first out.  Then CC hit Inge on a 1-2 pitch, now at 74 pitches through 3 1/3.  Yeeeesh.  But another 6-4-3 DP by Laird let CC escape once again.  It’s probably best to characterize him as efficiently wild.  He’s only allowed three hits, but three walks and a hit batter, rather similar to Burnett.  With Verlander dealing, the Yanks’ offense needs to scrape something off him while CC holds the Tigers off.  Jeter singled again, JD flew out to the deep left field corner for the first out, Teixeira walked, A-Rod flew out to right, and the Yanks are finally showing some patience to make Verlander, who is throwing 98-99.  Matsui weakly popped out to third, Velander is at 61 pitches.

Cone was in the WCBS booth discussing his perfect game. I’ve always appreciated Cone’s articulate demeaner almost as much as his excellent pitching, as well as his being a strong union leader in the MLBPA.  He would make a great partner for Sterling and add a technical element that Sterling and Waldman lack.  I know he is on YES, and I’d like him to do more games there.  Yet I’d love Cone to be in the radio booth more.

The Fifth: CC fanned Everett on a terrific 3-2 change, one down.  Granderson was set down on a pop to shallow left, two down, and Granderson is 0-3 thus far.  Polanco’s 5-3 gave Sabathia his first 1-2-3 thus far, 89 pitches.  Hopefully he can stay efficient and work into the seventh.  Verlander, meanwhile, is positively rolling, getting Posada and Swish on weak pops and fanning Cano on 98-mph heat.  Verlander had a 13-pitch inning, putting him at just 74 through 5.  Unless the Yanks reverse course and really tax him in the next couple innings, expect Verlander to go at least most of the way.  He’s been impressive.

The Sixth: CC got Cabrera to meekly pop to second.  Thames beat out a single despite Jeter’s great effort a few steps on the outfield grass, then Ordonez hit a double to right that clipped the line, second and third with one out.  Time for a K.  Sabathia got ahead of Raburn 0-2, rearing back for a 97-mph fastball, then another that missed 1-2, then a pop out to shallow left for the second out.  Good clutch pitching from Sabathia there.  Inge up and Sabathia is at 102 pitches, escaping here would be a big boost.  CC escapes by getting Inge on a feeble pop to second!  Great clutch pitching from The Ace.  At 104 pitches, I say he goes the seventh.  Apparently Aceves is warming up.  CC threw 51 pitches in the first two innings, 53 the next four.  He’s settled in well and has had to, with Verlander buzzing through the Yanks’ order.  They need to cobble something together soon and work up his pitch count, exact some later inning fatigue.  Melky down on a weak tapper to short.  Jeter, who has the only two hits off Verlander thus far, fanned on three pitches on a nasty change, two down.  JD behind 1-2, somewhat with the benefit of a generous first-pitch curve that looked outside, before lining a double to right, yanking a curve ball that was outside.  Teixeira has to deliver that runner, with chances to sparse.  3-1, and Teixeira missed the next pitch and accidentally chucked the bat into the crowd behind the Yanks’ dugout.  Thankfully everyone was fine.  Big moment, full count, but Teixeira struck out looking on a 99-mph fastball that appeared to be high.  Verlander at 89 pitches through six.  CC must keep holding the line.

The Seventh: CC got Laird on a 6-3 and Everett on a liner, also to The Captain, two down and CC is finishing strong by getting Granderson (0-4 thus far) on a 4-3.  I was hoping after the sixth that CC would get through Granderson smoothly in the seventh without being too taxed, and he did. CC is at 114 pitches; maybe he could start the eighth, but I would clip this here.  He’s been very good, and thankfully has gotten better as the game progressed.  His work in the sixth was flat-out money. Can the Yanks muster something off Verlander?  Maybe an A-Rod homer?  In this game, either a strange rally or one mistake for a homer seems to be the way it will go to settle it.  With all due humility, I called that! A deep homer to right, 1-0!  YES! All Verlander could do is smile, perhaps because he left that over the middle of the plate, perhaps because A-Rod drove it the other way but just out, but mistake it was.  Matsui made out on an F7 medium distance, Posada on an F8 for the second out.  Cano singled, Swish doubled to left and, litle by little, the Yanks are finally getting to Verlander.  They’re not butchering him by any means, but they’re taking advantage of a couple mistakes.  Big moment for Melky, who worked the count to 3-2 before beating out an infield single to short, a huge RBI in such a tight game for a 2-0 lead.  Swish’s disruption was helpful.  Jeter’s liner to first ends the inning, big although it was two runs.  In a game that could go either way, the Yanks finally struck first in the seventh.  CC’s escape job in the sixth looms very large right now.  Expect Aceves in the eighth.

The Eighth: Aceves is in and got Polanco on a shallow pop to right, one down.  Aceves fanned Cabrera a sharp change, two down.  Thames homered on a fastball up, into the first row in left, 2-1.  That renders Melky’s RBI infield single all the larger.  Aceves struck out Ordonez looking on a crip fastball, outer half, to hold the lead.  In the bottom half, lefty Seay enters to face JD, turn around Teixeira, and A-Rod.  JD flew out to deep left.  Teixeira and A-Rod both struck out.  Mariano for the ninth.

The Ninth: Mariano is in, as is Brett the Jet going to center, and Melky to left.  2-2 to Raburn before he fanned on a cutter away, 92-mph.  Inge behind 0-1 on a generous call, 1-1, and Jeter with a great, patented jump throw to nail Inge!  Huge, accompanied by throaty chants of “Derek Jeter!”  The Captain makes the final out on a pop for Mariano’s 25th save of the year and his 507th of his incomparable career.  Back to 16 games above .500.  Boston lost 6-2 to Toronto, putting the Yanks just two back in the rigorous East.

Terrific win, terrific pitcher’s duel that CC won, putting him at 9-6, 3.66 ERA.  Jeter was 2-4, batting .325.  A-Rod’s solo homer was his 18th this season and 571st of his career, with 51 RBI.  Melky’s infield single for an RBI, with a crucial assist from Swish, was his 35th RBI.  JD had his 21st double, batting .278.  Cano was 1-3 with the winning run, still batting .310.  Swish’s two-out double in the seventh, his 19th, was vital to the rally.  Tough luck for Verlander, who was tremendous in the loss.

Way to bring back the W, Mike Sommer.

Published in: on July 18, 2009 at 11:53 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Excellent win today, but a sweep would really make my weekend. The Yankeed need to capitalize on this homestand while the Sox are on the road. In other news, I got assaulted by a bunch of hornets who stung me in the left leg. They were probably Red Sox fans.

  2. I give all credit to #42. 🙂

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