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New York Yankees Reaction: Sabathia Shuts Down Tigers In Series Opener

CC Sabathia provided the spark to lead the New York Yankees over the Detroit Tigers for their fifth straight win.

  • Detroit Tigers: 0 (30-30)
  • New York Yankees: 4 (31-30)
  • American League, FINAL, Box Score
  • Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY

It has come to a point where the New York Yankees can rely on CC Sabathia every fifth day. The big left-hander has been superb in his revitalization and was nothing short of excellent again tonight. The only difference: the Yankees backed his efforts with some runs.

At times it did not come easy, but Sabathia fired seven, five hit, shutout innings to earn the win and lift the Yankees north of .500 (31-30) for the first time since April 13 (4-3).

The numbers, per Jeff Quagliata of the YES Network, go to show how dominant CC has been of late and how vital he has been to the team.

With all of the dominance, run support was the name of the game. The Yankees have given plenty of it lately and support was finally tossed in Sabathia’s direction. In his last three starts combined heading into tonight, he had allowed a total of two earned runs and did not have a win to show for it.

Tonight, comfort was handed to the 35-year-old directly out of the gates. Mike Pelfrey loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning and promptly walked Brian McCann to force in the game’s first run. However, the big blow was provided when Didi Gregorius stepped up with two outs and the bases still loaded and drove one just over the head of left fielder Justin Upton to score two more.

When the inning was all said and done, the Yankees and CC had a three run cushion to work with.

The lead was stretched to four in the third inning when the red-hot Carlos Beltran lined a run-scoring single to center field. That would cap off the scoring for New York, but the batch of runs were more than enough.

Sabathia completed seven in his dominant outing, Dellin Betances struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and Anthony Swarzak shut the door to make it five straight wins on the home stand.

Turning Point

In the top of the fifth inning, the Yankees had their 4-0 lead standing strong. However, a moment of uncertainty came about.

The Tigers put runners on the corners with only one out and Miguel Cabrera stepping up to plate. Anyone who has been around baseball for the last decade knows how scary Cabrera can be in those situations, or any situation for that matter. CC Sabathia was in a head-scratching jam.

CC has limited damage all season long, but has done it more significantly of late. Rather than allowing a run to cross the board, the southpaw induced an inning ending 6-4-3 double play to keep the score where it was.

Gardy Continues To Surge

Brett Gardner has been nonexistent for a better portion of this year, but has been brilliant in the midst of the team’s success of the past week. As many fans know, he is as inconsistent as they come.

With that said, his .500 (13-26) average over his last seven games would figure to be right on time. His contributions, along with those of the now consistent Jacoby Ellsbury, have catalyzed a Yankee offense averaging 6.6 runs per game on the current home stand. The left fielder currently rides an eight game hitting streak as well.

If Gardner keeps his hot stretch alive, the table will be set, runs will be scored, and games will ultimately be won.

What’s Next?

The Yanks will look to make it six straight wins on an already brilliant home stand when they battle the Tigers in the second of three from the Bronx.

They certainly have the right guy on the mound to do so. Masahiro Tanaka (3-1, 2.76 ERA) will take the ball for New York as he opposes Justin Verlander (5-5, 3.97 ERA).

Tanaka has been a forthright ace and displayed just that in his last outing. He opened the seven game home stand against the Angels, allowing only two runs and keeping the Yankees in a game they easily could have fallen out of. Three late home runs catapulted the Bombers and jumpstarted the recent hot stretch. The right-hander has been a victim of pitching on the unlucky day as he has allowed a combined three earned runs in his last three starts and has one win to show for it.

Justin Verlander, on the other hand, has picked it up of late and is coming off a dominant performance against the Chicago White Sox in which he struck out eight over seven two-run frames. Over his last seven starts, he has pitched to a stellar 3.08 ERA while striking out 54 batters in 49 2/3 innings.

First pitch will commence at 7:15 pm ET from Yankee Stadium as the Yanks will seek a series win. The game can be seen nationally on FOX and heard on WFAN 660/101.9 FM.

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