Saturday, April 10, 2010

CC Flat Out Dominates In Yankees 10-0 Victory Over The Rays

Today's Yankee game was extremely fun to watch, wasn't it? CC's no-hit bid definitely gets top billing. I fully blame my sister for the no-hit bid falling apart. She brought her little one over for a visit today and sometime around the 6th inning she was talking about how they had to go. I zipped into the room and told her she was forbidden to leave. I did my best to keep her from leaving but she escaped in the 7th. Next thing you know, Kelly Shoppach is singling to left and the no-hit bid is over. I'm definitely going to lay the smackdown on her when I see her in a few weeks. In hindsight I should have hidden her car keys or got Tonya Harding on her. My bad. Next time I'll be prepared.

CC was insanely good today, looking like he was in mid-late season form. The Rays never stood a chance. His fastball was popping ad he maintained that velocity throughout the entire game. He threw 62% of his pitches for strikes. He was just flat out awesome. CC is the type of pitcher that gets better as the season moves on. If his outing today is a sign of what to expect this year, they might as well hand him the Cy Young Award right now. But it is too early to get ahead of ourselves. He had a similar, albeit not as dominant, outing in his 2nd start last year. In his 2nd start last year, which was in Kansas City, CC threw 7.2 shutout innings, allowing 6 hits, no walks, and he struck out 6. His numbers through his first two starts this year are better than those from his first two starts last year. Considering this year his 2 starts have been against the Red Sox and Rays, and not the Orioles and Royals, it's a little more impressive. I definitely think he'll have a better year this year than he did last.

I thought for sure that he was going to get the no-no today. There was definitely something magical in the air. Typically, every no-hitter has a couple of outstanding defensive plays (see DeWayne Wise). The Yankees defense today had several outstanding plays. Mark Teixeria laid out to his right to rob Jason Bartlett of a hit to end the 6th. A-Rod made a sweet diving grab and made a phenomenal throw to first to rob B.J. Upton of a hit to end the 7th. CC had a ball deflect of his pitching hand that Robbie Cano fielded to get Willy Aybar in the 8th. At least I think it was Aybar in the 8th. I thought for sure that ball was ticketed to CF. Had CC not deflected it to Cano the no-no was probably over. The defense today was just outstanding. A-Rod had an especially great game in the field. Dude has an absolute cannon.

Word on the street is that Kelly Shoppach was CC's last batter regardless of what happened. Had Girardi pulled CC Sabathia with a no-hit bid I think Yankee fans would have run Joe out of town. Personally, I have mixed feelings on it. I understand that the big picture is what matters. I get that it's the 2nd game of the season and you don't want to push CC beyond his limits. But you can't pull a CC Sabathia type of pitcher from a no hitter after 8 innings. You just can't. You've got to let him finish what he started. I would have probably respected the decision had they lifted CC after 8 no-hit innings, but I would have been incredibly ticked. I think every Yankee fan would have been livid. In the end though the discussion is moot because Shoppach singled to LF. Damn you Kelly Shoppach.

It was nice to see Mark Teixeira finally join the party. It took Tex 18 ABs to pick up his first hit of the season. His 0-17 start was the worst of his career. I tweeted after the hit that I wanted to see him pick up at least 5 more in a row. So far so good. Tex finished the day with 3 hits. Had it not been for the "Ortiz/Giambi shift" he probably would have gone 4-4 because if I remember it correctly, in his first AB he lined out to the 2B who was positioned in short RF. Hopefully his 3 hits today end his dry spell.

Who's not loving Robinson Cano in the 5-hole? I'm still on board with my Cano = 2010 AL MVP prediction. I really think RC is going to have a monster year. He's definitely off to a really hot start. He went 2-5 today with a HR and 3 RBI. Most importantly he picked up a base knock with RISP. We didn't see a lot of that from Robbie last year. I don't think it'll be a sore spot with him this year.

The entire offense, for the most part, had a great day. I know, silly statement considering they scored 10 runs. But if you break it down, there weren't a lot of holes. 5 guys had multiple hit games. 6 guys knocked in runs. They were 6-13 with RISP. 7 guys walked. The team only struck out 3 times. Every starter had a hit except for Nick Johnson. But as my friend Don will argue, he saw a lot of pitches and that hooked up everyone else. So we'll go with that. Curtis Granderson got a hit off a lefty. Despite it not scoring a run, "The Rally Killer" Nick Swisher got a hit with RISP. A-Rod picked up his 1000th hit as a Yankee. There wasn't much to balk at today. It was all good, a baby-baby.

The series with the Rays wraps up tomorrow and then it's home to the Bronx. Can't wait until Tuesday's home opener. It's going to be cool to see the team get their rings. I've got the day off (yes just to watch it) so I won't miss any of it. But first, it's A.J. Burnett vs. James Shields. I'm hoping A.J. does his best to 1-up CC. If he's got his curve working, it's definitely possible. Let's go Yankees.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,