Behind terrific outing from Sabathia on Jackie Robinson Day, Yankees win sixth straight game

Every year on April 15th, players all around the game of baseball honor a true legend in Jackie Robinson for the day he made his MLB debut. Many decades have passed since Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball but his impact is still seen today. Throughout the majors, we see players of all races and from many different countries. Baseball is no longer just America’s pastime, it has become a pastime of the world. Today in New York, all players paid homage in the way of wearing number 42, a number that is retired throughout all of baseball.
Photo Credit: Julie Jacobson | AP

The Yankees came into today’s game riding a five-game winning streak, and to get win number six they would have their best pitcher CC Sabathia on the mound. Sabathia has really seemed to reinvent himself this season as he would pick up his second win of the season, and currently claims a 1.47 ERA. Knowing how to pitch to location and not just blow by hitters has been the key for Sabathia so far, this season. His slider is still as nasty as they come, but working in all directions of the plate and keeping hitters off balance, Sabathia looks rejuvenated. He lead the way today en route to a 3-2 Yankees win.
Photo Credit: Julie Jacobson | AP
Being that it is early in the season, day games after a night game are not that difficult to navigate around. Typically, the Yankees give their catcher the day off as they did giving Kyle Higashioka the start over Austin Romine. However, a couple of hours before game time Matt Holliday was a late scratch due to lower back tightness. With Holliday out, Chris Carter took his spot, and big Aaron Judge received a day off in right field as Aaron Hicks got the start. The Yankees started this game off managing one run in the bottom of the first without even making contact. Hard throwing pitcher Carlos Martinez started this game off a little rusty walking eight batters over the first five innings, including four in the first inning. All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, looked as if he could use the day off after last night’s game as he let a few breaking balls get passed him, which led to Brett Gardner scoring on a wild pitch in that first inning.


Hitting is known to be contagious but in today’s ballgame patience was a virtue. The Yankees were able to get Martinez’s pitch count to 70 pitches in just the third inning, and while Jacoby Ellsbury singled in the bottom of the fifth inning, Chase Headley and the struggling Greg Bird were able to work walks to load the bases in the bottom of the fifth. At an alarming 105 pitches through just five innings, the Yankees left the bases loaded and Martinez was able to escape, again.


For the Bombers however, Sabathia was solid once again. The big left hander maneuvered his way through the dangerous Cardinals lineup as he pitched 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball notching win number two on the season. While it is still early in the season, the Yankees and all the fans can only hope that Sabathia can stay healthy, and eat innings all year long.


A key play of the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning when Ronald Torreyes hit a high pop-up, that fell between the shortstop and left-fielder after they lost it in the sun. Torreyes was awarded a double on the challenged play showing that kids should always hustle out of the box. With Martinez still pitching, (118 pitches), Gardner moved Torreyes over to third on a groundout. Then, on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Aaron Hicks which was fielded by Martinez, Torreyes came in to score on the throwing error. The final batter and the dagger for Martinez and the Cardinals came when Carter singled on a sharp low-lying liner to bring in Hicks.


The Yankees working without the availability of Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman needed everything they got today from Sabathia. He kept his pitch count low, working ahead all afternoon and really, made only one mistake. Hard throwing righty Adam Warren relieved Sabathia after the home run by Jedd Gyorko in the top of the eighth inning. Warren has faced 20 batters this season and has retired them all.

In front of just over 43,000 fans, Tyler Clippard was given the task of grinding through heart of the Cardinals order in the ninth inning. After giving up a solo homer to Stephen Piscotty to make it a 3-2 game, Clippard worked himself into a bit of trouble. He surrendered an infield single to pinch hitter Matt Adams against the shift, and then walked pinch hitter Greg Garcia. However, Clippard was able to bear down and strikeout Randal Grichuk to get his first save on the season.

Tomorrow night, the Yankees look to wrap up the series sweep on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball 8:05 PM ET. Michael Pineda (1-1, 3.97 ERA) will look to continue where he left off against the Rays where he flirted with perfection. Consistency is the key for Pineda, he has filthy stuff, but maintaining it game to game is the issue. For the Cardinals, veteran Adam Wainwright (0-2, 7.00 ERA) will look for his first win of the season, and try to get the Cardinals season heading in the right direction.

Winning Pitcher: CC Sabathia (2-0, 1.47 ERA): 7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR
Losing Pitcher: Carlos Martinez (0-2, 3.57 ERA): 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 8 BB, 11 K
Save: Tyler Clippard (1)

Notables:
Ronald Torreyes: 1-3, 2B, R, K
Greg Bird: 0-3, 2 K, BB (.038 batting average)
Jacoby Ellsbury: 2-4, SB (4), 2 K
Tyler Clippard: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, HR, SV
Chris Carter: 1-5, RBI, 4 K
Stephen Piscotty: 1-3, HR (2), RBI, R, HBP
Jedd Gyorko: 1-3, HR (2), RBI, R


Article by: Randy Hancock

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