C.C. was nothing short of outstanding, and the offense awakened late to best Matsuzaka and Boston 3-0. Mariano shut it down for his 43rd save and 525th of his incomparable career. C.C. threw seven innings of one-hit ball, and Mariano allowed but a hit himself, to handcuff a tough Boston lineup. Cano broke the shutout with a liner to left, his 24th homer, and JD delivered a big two-out, two-run single in the eighth.
Like Joba last night, C.C. was perfect through 3 2/3 until facing Martinez, who walked in the fourth. But The Big Guy got Youkilis on a pop to short to keep the no-hitter intact. Yet Lowell broke up the no-hitter to lead off the top of the fifth. The problem was that the yanks stranded nine through five, going 0-11 with RISP; brutal work in the clutch. They really should have run Matsuzaka off the mound early in the game, especially in the fifth when they had the bases loaded and no outs. But A-Rod weakly grounded out to Martinez who tagged home for the force, Matsui who popped out to Martinez, and Swish popping out to Lowell in foul territory. It would be hard to envision the Yanks going more meekly for three outs with the bases loaded and no outs.
Thankfully Cano came through in the seventh. After working over Wagner in the eighth, JD made him pay with w two-run single. Cano has 80 RBI, JD 79 this season. C.C. earned his 19th win and lowered his ERA to 3.21 with 7 scoreless, one-walk innings, punctuated by 8 K’s on just 96 pitches 57 strikes. He was tremendous, and reminiscent of his August 8 performance against Boston, also a Saturday gem when C.C. flirted with perfection and a no-hitter. Hughes went a 1-2-3 eighth with 2 K’s, aided by some more defensive brilliance from Teixeira, who dove to his right and robbed Drew of a lead-off double. Mariano added two K’s–12 in all–culminating the game with his 43rd save.
The Yanks are now a win away from clinching the division, seven up in the loss column on Boston. Cano is a hit away from 200 this year. Jeter’s 2-3 put him at .332. JD’s RBI single moves him up to .284. But the real work came from the arms today. C.C., Hughes, and Mariano is as good as it gets, shutting down a tough Boston team. I can’t say enough good about this team. Enjoy it, Yankees fans.