Sabathia Dominates Orioles , Yankees Advance to ALCS
CC Sabathia was worth every penny tonight during a game where Alex Rodriguez rode the bench. The Yankees’ ace was locked into another pitcher’s duel and showed up in the winning column again, adding one more out and one less run from his first start in a complete game, one run performance during a 3-1 victory.
The Yankees’ win moves them past the Baltimore Orioles and into the American League Championship Series for the third time in four years when they host the Detroit Tigers tomorrow.
In a series full of pitching, Game Five was no different. Scoreless through four innings, New York broke up a no-hitter from Orioles’ starter, Jason Hammel, and a shutout when Mark Teixeira singled, stole second, and scored on a Raul Ibanez RBI single. The Yankees would score a run in the next two innings, building a 3-0 lead on an RBI double by Ichiro Suzuki and a solo home run from Curtis Granderson.
While Granderson showed signs of life, Rodriguez looked on as he was given a game off to presumably collect himself. Sabathia carried the team, throwing a shutout into the eighth inning before he saw his first jam.
Matt Wieters lead off the next to last inning with a single which was followed by a walk by Manny Machado. Mark Reynolds had a three ball count before Sabathia battled back to strike him out. After that, things became intense.
Lew Ford singled to drive in the first Oriole’s run to cut the lead to 3-1. After that, Robert Andino hit a dribbler to Sabathia’s right and reached safely when the Yankees’ pitcher found nobody covering third base and threw late to second base. With the bases loaded, Sabathia struck out Baltimore’s hottest hitter, Nate McLouth on another full count. McLouth hit a controversial foul ball in his previous at bat when he missed a home run by a matter of centimeters. J.J. Hardy grounded out slowly to Derek Jeter to end the eighth inning.
Though he struggled in the eighth and though he was over 100 pitches, Joe Girardi elected to stick with his ace, and Sabathia responded with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, preserving the bullpen, saving the game and winning the ALDS in the process.