CC Rolls On

October 17, 2009 – 1:49 pm

NYY 4, Los Angeles 1. On paper this series looks like it’s more about hitting than pitching. The Yankees and Angels led the AL in runs scored per game, but on the pitching side the Yankees ranked sixth and the Angels a pedestrian ninth. But this is the post-season, and there are no No. 4 and No. 5 starters to beat up on. Instead you get the likes of CC Sabathia and John Lackey and what should have been a 1-1 game going in to extra innings. But fortunately for the Yankees, the LA defense took the night off and to the Yankee’s credit, they more than took advantage of the errors and misplays for an additional three runs, and that was more than enough.

CC is on one incredible run. He finished the regular season 9-1 with a 2.52 ERA over the last two months, and now in the post-season he’s 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA. Of the four hits he gave up last night, two were harmless two-out singles. Four of his eight innings were three-and-outs, and the Angels only got one runner past first base all night. And could it be that Joe Girardi actually learned how dangerous his over-managing the bullpen can be in the Twins series? He smartly let CC be his own setup man, keeping him in through the 8th and then bringing in Rivera. The less we see of bullpen by committee, the better off we’ll be.

Offensively, the Yankees struggled yet again. Last night it was Hideki Matsui quietly getting the two big hits — a single in the first that drove in what ultimately would prove to be the winning run, and then a big double in the fifth to provide a much needed insurance run. But for the most part it was poor defensive play on the part of the Angels that put this one in the win column for the Yankees. Well, that along with CC’s great performance. At some point, though, the offense needs to start contributing a bit more.

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