When we look at baseball we automatically think sports and statistics. But when you look closely, baseball is an art. An art form of it’s own.
A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of interviewing a painter who loved to paint baseball. His name is Absolon Moreau (Twitter name: @MoreauArt) and when I saw some of his paintings, I just knew that I had to ask him some questions. So here is the interview that I conducted below:
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was originally born in France, but my family moved to the Bay Area when I was three years old. I have grown up in America for most of my life.
Q: How did you get started painting pictures of sports figures?
A: I have always loved sports, whether it is to play or to watch. Once I realized I didn’t have a chance to play professionally I started to use my art skills to recreate moments that were happening on the field. I have since grown my art talents and have developed many fantastic new techniques to add more realism on a painting.
3. Do you use any specific materials when your painting your pictures?
A: I always use a reference photo as it helps me remember what the players face looks like, what they are wearing as well as the specific details on the painting such as a Nike swoosh on their shoe or a Under Armour logo on their undershirt. I also make sure to have my easel set up with everything I need on it, including the canvas, reference photo and the wooden stretchers.
4. What was the first painting that you ever painted?
A: The first painting I ever did, was pretty bad in my eyes, however, it was a painting of Kevin Youkilis…bad subject, I know ;). I then did a Tim Lincecum painting shortly thereafter, I ended up donating it to a charity auction just recently.
5. Is there a painting that you painted that was your favorite?
A: Definitely, the painting I like the most is the one I am currently doing of Joe Thornton, center for the San Jose Sharks. The picture itself is amazing, but as a painting it looks even better. The Willie Mays painting I am doing is also looking to be one of my favorites. Of the ones I have currently done it has to be the Michael Jordan painting, it just just so detailed and vibrant!
6. Do you see yourself putting some of your paintings in a museum?
A: I hope that one day I can get my paintings into a museum while I am still alive, I feel like my art is good enough, but the name isn’t. Right now I just need to get a bigger brand in the game and then I hope that I can get my art into bigger places!
If you would like to see some of the paintings that he talks about during the interview, visit www.moreauart.com. Trust me, you will find them just as fabulous as I did.
US Futures 6, World Futures 4
(be sure to click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY at the end of the boxscores, for the written recap, and the link to a MLB.com video recap)
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Game recap from MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
OAKLAND — The Yankees had absolutely no expectations for Bartolo Colon when he arrived in camp this spring, but by now they’ve figured this out: When he’s on, expect plenty of zeroes.
Colon again recaptured his old form on Monday, dominating the Athletics for nine scoreless innings as the Yankees posted a 5-0 victory at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The A’s lineup seemed to be consistently flailing at everything the 37-year-old Colon fired their way, as the right-hander limited Oakland to just four hits while striking out six.
Wearing Stars & Stripes Memorial Day caps in the field, the Yankees provided Colon with all of the support he’d need in the first inning, getting to Trevor Cahill for three runs.
Derek Jeter led off the game with a single, his 2,981st career hit. The captain was aboard when Mark Teixeira homered for the fourth time in five games — a two-run shot to right field, his 16th.
Robinson Cano followed an Alex Rodriguez walk with a run-scoring double to right-center field before being cut down on an outfield assist rounding second base.
Against an Oakland lineup that has less homers (30) than Teixeira and Curtis Granderson (16) combined, the lead held up, even as Cahill settled in and limited the Yankees to just one hit over the next six innings.
With Cahill’s pitch count climbing in the seventh, the Yankees manufactured a fourth run. Brett Gardner walked, stole second, executed a double steal with Francisco Cervelli and scored on a Jeter sacrifice fly.
Cahill allowed four runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking five and striking out two before yielding to Craig Breslow.
Working efficiently, Colon allowed only a second-inning Josh Willingham double that struck the wall in right-center field and then a sixth-inning Kevin Kouzmanoff single. Kurt Suzuki had an infield single in the eighth and was promptly erased on a double play, while Cliff Pennington hit a leadoff double in the ninth.
It was a solid bounce-back for Colon, who was commanding two starts ago on May 18 over eight scoreless innings in Baltimore but allowed a season-high six runs to the Blue Jays on May 23. It was Colon’s first complete game since July 5, 2006, when he was a member of the Angels.
|Rodriguez, Al, 3B||3||1||0||0||1||1||0||.277|
UPDATE, 3:18 PM EST: Martin has been scratched from the lineup with a sore toe. Here’s the new lineup:
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF
Francisco Cervelli C
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Jorge Posada DH
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF
Bartolo Colon (2-3, 3.77) vs. Trevor Cahill (6-2, 2.02)
5/30/11: Bartolo Colon (2-3, 3.77) vs. Trevor Cahill (6-2, 2.02)
Against the Blue Jays, Colon pitched five strong innings but faltered in the sixth. A five-run explosion, fueled by three walks — two intentional — led to his third loss of the season. He struck out eight in defeat but walked four overall.
Cahill wasn’t at his best in his last start, giving up back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning to the Angels. He lasted six innings, scattered 10 hits and five walks while being tagged for four runs (three earned) and just his second loss.
5/31/11: Freddy Garcia (3-4, 3.26) vs. Brett Anderson (3-4, 2.84)
Garcia looks to string together back-to-back wins after defeating the Blue Jays with 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball on May 25. The veteran has allowed three runs or fewer in three of his last four starts.
Anderson was dominant against the Angels in his last outing. He tossed a three-hit shutout over eight innings and struck out four batters en route to the win. He has allowed just four runs combined in his last three starts.
6/1/11: A.J. Burnett (5-3, 3.99) vs. Gio Gonzalez (5-2, 2.17)
Burnett ran out of steam after needing 97 pitches to grind through five innings against the Mariners on May 27, tying a season high with five walks. He completed the month of May 1-2 with a 4.06 ERA, logging quality starts in three of five outings.
Gonzalez didn’t earn a decision the last time out, but saw his stellar May come to an end after five innings in which he gave up two runs, fanned seven and walked five. For the month, he was 3-0 and struck out at least six in all five of his starts.
Pitcher Probables/Previews from MLB.com’s Gameday.
From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
SEATTLE — The Yankees had been unable to spark anything against the Mariners’ bullpen all weekend, so they left nothing to chance on Sunday, getting to the starting pitcher instead.
New York battered Jason Vargas for six runs in the first three innings, offering CC Sabathia plenty of cushion as they cruised to a 7-1 victory at Safeco Field, salvaging the finale of a three-game series.
Seattle’s relievers had fired nine scoreless innings in the first two games of the set, including five after Felix Hernandez was knocked out of Saturday’s extra-inning affair.
Hours later, the Yankees pounced on Vargas, using five hits and four walks to chase the left-hander early on an afternoon when every Bombers starter would log at least one hit.
Nick Swisher started the offense with a second-inning homer, his third, and New York batted around in a five-run third inning that saw each run cross the plate with two outs.
Andruw Jones had the big hit in the frame, clearing the bases with a three-run double to right field. Robinson Cano also had an RBI single, and Eduardo Nunez knocked in Jones with his first career triple.
On the way to his third consecutive winning start, Sabathia had no problems with the output.
The left-hander held the Mariners scoreless into the sixth inning, when he fell behind Justin Smoak. Challenging the first baseman with a 3-1 fastball, Sabathia lost his shutout bid as Smoak’s drive landed beyond the left-field fence.
Otherwise, Sabathia was stellar, pitching out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth inning by getting Ichiro Suzuki to bounce back to the mound for a 1-2-3 double play.
The run support should have been nothing new for Sabathia, who is following the Phil Hughes trend from last season — entering play on Sunday, Sabathia’s support average of 7.63 runs per game was the second most in the Major Leagues.
Mark Teixeira added an RBI single in the fourth off Jeff Gray for the Yankees, who have not been swept in a three-game series in Seattle since Aug. 26-28, 1996.
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|Jones, An, LF||3||1||1||3||1||0||2||.236|
|Nunez, E, SS||4||0||1||1||0||0||1||.250|
From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
SEATTLE — The losses that come with Mariano Rivera walking off the mound often go down this way, with a ball hit just well enough that it finds a safe patch of outfield grass to land on.
Adam Kennedy was the one providing the ending on Saturday, knocking in pinch-runner Luis Rodriguez with the winning run in the 12th inning to lift the Mariners to a 5-4 victory over the Yankees at Safeco Field.
“It was the game,” Rivera said. “I made good pitches and the ball found places. You can’t do [anything]. I wish we’d still be playing, but it’s done.”
The loss resides next to Rivera’s name in the box score, but the Yankees knew better.
After wrestling a lead away from Felix Hernandez in the seventh inning, four Seattle relievers silenced their bats until the end of a four-hour, 18-minute grind that ended well after most New Yorkers had retired to bed.
“They’ve been throwing a lot of strikes,” said Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. “They’ve been pitching really well. You can see their ERAs. They’re really good and you’ve got to give them some credit.”
In the decisive 12th, Justin Smoak got aboard with a one-out single before leaving for the pinch-runner, and Jack Cust followed with a well-hit double into the left-field corner.
“You can’t defend that. There’s no excuses,” Rivera said.
An intentional walk loaded the bases for Kennedy, who won it with a shallow looper to center field.
“I’m trying to survive,” Kennedy said. “You know what’s coming. That’s my second hit off him ever and the other one was just the same. It’s not easy.”
David Pauley was the last of Seattle’s relievers on Saturday, hurling two scoreless innings for the win. The Yankees have gone quietly over nine frames against the Mariners’ bullpen in the series.
“It’s been two nights in a row we haven’t scored on them,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I thought we had a couple of chances, we hit some balls hard. We just didn’t score.”
Hernandez struggled early, serving up a solo homer to Cano in the second inning and a two-run shot to Mark Teixeira in the third.
“They were waiting a little bit, but after the third they started hacking,” Hernandez said. “I made two mistakes with fastballs to Cano. That was right in the middle. And Teixeira, too. I fell behind and you pay.”
He settled in, but the Yankees were able to get him to cough up a one-run lead in the seventh.
With Derek Jeter aboard, Granderson belted a drive to right field that Ichiro Suzuki pursued oddly, leaping on the warning track and missing the ball entirely. Granderson charged to third base as Jeter scored the tying run easily.
It was an interesting night for Jeter, who had two hits and is now 21 away from becoming the first player in a Yankees uniform to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.
Jeter also used the evening to reach another statistical milestone, logging his 327th career stolen base in the third inning, surpassing Rickey Henderson for the most in franchise history.
That was all book-keeping in the end. As he watched from the clubhouse, Ivan Nova took responsibility.
Down, 3-1, after three innings, the Mariners took the lead with three runs in the fourth, knocking Nova out.
“I feel bad about that,” Nova said. “I had the lead twice in the game and I can’t hold on. I don’t feel happy with that.”
Franklin Gutierrez started the fourth with a bad-hop single that ate up Jeter, and Kennedy doubled to set up Miguel Olivo’s game-tying, two-run double.
Nova also uncorked a wild pitch and allowed the go-ahead hit, a Brendan Ryan RBI single, before leaving.
“I don’t have really good command today, but I’ve got to find another way to fight and stay in the game,” Nova said. “I’ll try to do better next time.”
Girardi said that he would have liked to see Nova challenge hitters more. The righty allowed five hits in 3 2/3 innings, walking three and fanning one.
“You have to be able to throw strikes,” Girardi said. “This is a ballpark where there aren’t a lot of home runs hit. I think you can be more aggressive in this ballpark and attack the strike zone. That’s what he has to do.”
You couldn’t pin it on the Yankees’ bullpen. Hector Noesi performed admirably in relief, holding the Mariners scoreless over 2 1/3 innings of two-hit ball.
Dave Robertson struck out the side in the seventh. Joba Chamberlain hurled two scoreless innings and Boone Logan faced the minimum in the 10th before Luis Ayala set the Mariners down in the 11th.
Ultimately, even as Kennedy’s humpback off Rivera rolled past Granderson and was abandoned in center field, the Yankees had to look back at the early innings as the turning point.
“It’s frustrating,” Girardi said. “We had leads in both of the games and weren’t able to hold them. We gave free baserunners and it hurt us.”
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Here are some notes from MLBTR on the Yankees:
- GM Brian Cashman told George A. King III of The New York Post that he isn’t getting any calls about trades just yet. “I am not getting calls,” said Cashman. “We have the farm system and money, but no calls … The headache stuff is available. The quality stuff is not available.”
- Within the article, King notes that the team could look for upgrades at DH, in right field, and for the pitching staff. He says the Astros “will listen” to offers for Brett Myers, but the Yankees “don’t have a match.” King speculates that Carlos Beltran, Michael Cuddyer, and Vladimir Guerrero could be potential trade targets.
- Dan Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal wrote about the club’s pro scouting department, which helped unearth Bartolo Colon and others this offseason. “It’s easy to recommend a guy when the numbers are there,” said scout Tim Naehring. “The most difficult thing is feeling confident and putting in a report when the production isn’t there. The biggest challenge is sticking your neck out and saying,’I know there’s more in there. I know there’s better performance coming.’”
From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
SEATTLE — The Yankees’ bullpen was lauded as an unquestioned strength heading into the season, but it was their weak spot on Friday in the opener of a nine-game road trip.
Clinging to a one-run lead heading to the sixth inning, two Yankees relievers frittered it away. A pair of soft run-scoring groundouts eased them along to a 4-3 loss to the Mariners at Safeco Field.
“We had a chance to win tonight and that’s disappointing,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Whether it’s the first game or the ninth game of the road trip, that’s disappointing.”
The Yankees’ frustration was evident in the face of Eduardo Nunez, who pinch-ran in the eighth inning and pulled off a daring steal of second base, only to be picked off representing the tying run.
“I feel bad. It’s a big play in the inning,” said Nunez, who was nabbed by Jamey Wright. “The tying run is me. To get picked off, I feel so bad. It happens.”
Nick Swisher didn’t have a much better night. Swisher belted a deep drive to center field in the fourth inning that seemed like a sure bet to snap his prolonged offensive funk.
He never saw Franklin Gutierrez leap against the outfield wall and bring the ball back for an out. The look of amazement on the face of Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan told Swisher everything he needed to know.
“No chance. I hit that ball really well,” Swisher said. “What are you going to do? He looked like Michael Jordan out there on that play.”
That helplessness seeped into the bullpen as well. A.J. Burnett needed 97 pitches to get through five innings, so Girardi wanted Boone Logan to get an out before Luis Ayala got the ball to the later innings.
Burnett said he still had a little something left in the tank, but he couldn’t argue with the call.
“Those guys in the bullpen are there for a reason,” Burnett said. “A lot of walks [five] and I’m sure the 97 pitches had a lot to do with it.”
Logan once again couldn’t fulfill his assignment, as Adam Kennedy pounced on a hanging slider, the 11th hit that Logan has surrendered to a lefty in 32 at-bats.
Ayala allowed a single to Miguel Olivo and then issued a four-pitch walk to Carlos Peguero, setting up RBI at-bats for Ryan and Ichiro Suzuki.
Ryan bounced a ball to shortstop that was too slowly hit to turn a double play, tying the score, and Ichiro followed with a RBI grounder to shortstop that gave Seattle its first lead of the evening.
“You just find a way to push them across,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “Our guys did a good job keeping them in the middle of the field. That’s the separator right there. If you’re hitting those balls to the corners, you’re not going to score those runs.”
The silent rally made a winner out of David Pauley, who hurled two scoreless innings after promising starter Michael Pineda was hit for three runs in five frames.
Seattle had scored twice off Burnett, who knew that he’d sealed his own fate by needing to wriggle free of self-created jams too often.
“I was 3-1, 3-2 on a lot of hitters,” Burnett said. “At the same time, I was able to get out of it here and there. It definitely was the deciding factor in coming out, walks and a high pitch count.”
It might have been a different decision, Girardi allowed, if both of the Mariners’ runs off Burnett hadn’t come in the fifth on RBI groundouts by Luis Rodriguez and Justin Smoak.
As Girardi knows all too well, the crop of relievers he has on his lineup card isn’t exactly what he thought would be there this spring, but they must make do with few reinforcements available.
“Some guys are going to be expected to do a little bit more, that’s the bottom line,” Girardi said.
The Yankees saw flashes of the 22-year-old Pineda’s promise but were able to run up the right-hander’s pitch count and get him out after five innings.
“He had trouble with the strike zone,” Girardi said. “I thought our guys were patient off him and did a good job off him. He hasn’t given up a lot of runs.”
Mark Teixeira accounted for New York’s first run in the first, belting his 14th homer.
In the fifth, Pineda uncorked a nasty breaking ball that Alex Rodriguez waved at, but it skipped away for a wild pitch that scored Curtis Granderson standing up.
Booed as usual during his return visits to Seattle, Rodriguez then dropped an RBI single in front of a sliding Gutierrez, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
“Growing up in the Dominican, I think he heard all about the Yankees and saw all those highlights, so he was pretty excited,” catcher Olivo said of Pineda. “I think he was overthrowing the fastball. But for five innings, they still only had three hits and that’s amazing.”
Pineda used 96 pitches in the effort, his 10th big league outing, walking five and striking out five.
“We heard a lot about him coming in,” Swisher said. “I thought we did a great job getting his pitch count up. We just kind of let it slip away from us. It’s a tough loss to take.”
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Friday ~ 5/27/11 ~ 10:10 PM EST
A.J. Burnett (5-3, 4.02) vs. Michael Pineda (6-2, 2.16)
Burnett settled down Saturday after a 29-pitch, two-run first inning against the Mets to come out with the win, his third quality start in his last four outings. He is 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA in six career starts against the Mariners.
The big 22-year-old ranks first among AL rookies in wins (6), strikeouts (61) and opponents avg. (.194). He’s riding a 14-inning scoreless streak, during which he’s allowed five hits and one walk with 16 strikeouts.
Saturday ~ 5/28/11 ~ 10:10 PM EST
Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.29) vs. Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.01)
Nova was unfazed by the stage of the Subway Series, giving up just three runs in 6 2/3 innings Sunday against the Mets. Late run support gave him a no-decision. He has never faced Seattle.
Hernandez tied his career-high with 13 strikeouts in an eight-inning gem against the Padres Sunday, allowing six hits in a 6-1 win. He’s 5-3 with a 2.73 ERA in eight career starts against the Yankees.
Sunday ~ 5/29/11 ~ 4:10 PM EST
C.C. Sabathia (5-3, 3.17) vs. TBA
Sabathia pitched his first complete game of the year on Tuesday, giving up four runs in a win against the Blue Jays. He yielded eight hits, but pounded the strike zone, issuing one walk and using 103 pitches (77 strikes) to finish the game.
Pitcher Probables from MLB.com’s Gameday Preview
- A third MRI on Rafael Soriano‘s elbow has prompted the Yankees to send the pricey reliever to see Dr. James Andrews, report Mark Feinsand and Sean Brennan of the New York Daily News. The writers note that this marks Soriano’s sixth elbow-related DL stint; he’s a survivor of Tommy John surgery and ulnar nerve transposition surgery. I’m not sure what surgeries are left, but the decision by Hal and Hank Steinbrenner and Randy Levine to overrule GM Brian Cashman on this signing is looking bad. If the team’s bullpen depth is compromised due to the Soriano injury, Cashman might be forced to throw more money and/or prospects at the situation.
- A baseball official reviewed video of the procedures done on Bartolo Colon‘s elbow and shoulder, physician Leonel Liriano told Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger. “I feel that they know that everything is good,” remarked Liriano. MLB has been concerned that Colon’s stem cell therapy could have involved the use of HGH.
- Our 2012 contract issues entry for the Yankees was published a week ago, check it out. Many key players have unresolved contract situations.
- Our post on each team’s draft picks reveals that the Yankees are one of 14 teams with two picks within the first 90. The Yankees will sit out until pick #51 overall, the longest wait for any team aside from the Tigers. The draft is less than two weeks away.
Texeira joined the Yankees organization in the 2008 Nick Swisher trade, but he has never donned pinstripes at the Major League level. The Mariners selected him in the 2009 Rule 5 draft and kept him on their roster for two months before exposing him to waivers. The Royals then claimed the Hawaiian and kept him on their roster for the remainder of the 2010 season to earn his rights.
In total, Texeira posted a 4.84 ERA with 4.8 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a 52.2% ground ball rate in 61 1/3 innings of relief last year. He has struggled in 2011, allowing 13 hits and 3 walks in 6 1/3 innings without a strikeout. Earlier in the year, Yankees GM Brian Cashman claimed reliever Jess Todd, only to lose him to the Cardinals, soon afterward.
Just a reminder that a new Weekly Great Yankee Moment is up an posted. Be sure to check it out!
Freddy Garcia (2-4, 3.12) vs. Jo-Jo Reyes (0-3, 4.07)
From MLB.com’s Gameday:
Reyes took another no-decision away from his last outing, against Houston, despite not allowing a run over seven innings. He is now winless in his past 27 starts and is one away from tying the record, set by Oakland’s Matt Keough.
Garcia tossed 95 pitches over seven innings on Friday, giving up just two runs on five hits in a loss to the Mets. In 15 career starts against the Blue Jays, the right-hander is 6-6 with a 6.06 ERA.
Enjoy the game.
From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
NEW YORK — The Yankees ensured that walk-off magic would be incorporated into the DNA of their new ballpark a couple of years ago. It was only a matter of time before some more seeped out.
After Curtis Granderson tied the game with a ninth-inning RBI single, Mark Teixeira made a winner of CC Sabathia as the Yankees toppled the Blue Jays, 5-4, in their final turn at bat on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
“It was great to do that in front of our home crowd,” said Teixeira, who slammed the game-winning hit off the glove of first baseman Juan Rivera. “We hadn’t done it too much this year, but to come back and get a big win for CC and the home fans was nice.”
The hit marked the Yankees’ second walk-off of 2011 and Teixeira’s first regular season walk-off as a Yankee; his other such moment in pinstripes has become regular programming for the highlight reel, coming in the ’09 American League Division Series against the Twins.
As the ninth inning progressed, it started to feel a little bit like that successful season again.
“We had a lot of come-from-behind wins in ’09, and we played extremely well here last year,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We need to get back to that. That’s a real good win for us.”
With Toronto’s Frank Francisco sweating out a save opportunity, Jorge Posada ripped a one-out pinch-hit double to right-center, waking up the big Bronx ballpark with one swing.
“The fans were into it,” Posada said. “They were loud the whole game. As soon as we scored three [runs], I said, ‘We’ve got a chance to win the game.’”
It has been a rough year for Posada, fighting the Mendoza line at .183 as he tries to put a public spat with management into the rear-view mirror. But his teammates still count on the big hits.
“Sado has had so many big moments in this organization,” Sabathia said. “I think everybody is making a big deal out of everything he does now, but we kind of expect it out of him.”
After a groundout, Granderson connected with his fourth hit, shooting it past a diving attempt from Rivera.
Granderson stole second and Teixeira then scorched the game-winner into right field — quite a welcome turn of events on a night when it looked as though Sabathia might wind up a complete-game loser.
“I think it’s a statement of what this team’s philosophy is,” Granderson said. “You just keep battling, knowing that things are going to turn.”
Blue Jays manager John Farrell lamented wasting seven good innings from starter Ricky Romero, who held the Yankees to just Russell Martin’s third-inning homer.
“To their credit, Posada jump-started their offense in the ninth with that double,” Farrell said. “We just couldn’t close it out.”
Sabathia could, firing his first complete game of the season and his third as a Yankee, although the bats needed to hit up the bullpen for support.
Robinson Cano greeted Marc Rzepczynski with a well-struck double that chased home Granderson, and Martin followed with an RBI hit that brought in New York’s third run.
The Blue Jays got to Sabathia for four runs — all earned — on eight hits, but he was at his best late, as the lefty retired the final 16 to face him.
“They were swinging early in the count and all I wanted to do was throw strikes,” said Sabathia, who walked one and struck out three.
Corey Patterson knocked in a run with a third-inning RBI single, and Sabathia was touched up for a three-run fourth that could have been much worse.
Rivera doubled and scored on J.P. Arencibia’s RBI single, and Edwin Encarnacion’s one-out single drew Girardi out for a rare mid-inning visit.
Whatever Girardi said, it didn’t work. Rajai Davis ripped a run-scoring hit, and with runners at the corners, John McDonald dropped a well-placed sacrifice.
Teixeira made the right play on the bunt as Encarnacion raced home, firing accurately to Cano, but the ball flicked Cano’s glove for his fifth error this year.
“They didn’t hit the ball hard, but they look like line drives in the box score,” Sabathia said. “You need to continue to make pitches and just try to get outs.”
He wasn’t out of the woods yet, and what followed seemed like the turning point. A sacrifice and a five-pitch walk brought up Jose Bautista with the bases loaded.
Sabathia escaped by getting the Major League home run leader to ground into a fielder’s choice.
“CC pitched tough all night,” Martin said. “We mixed [Bautista] really well, never really gave him the same pattern. We really just made pitches to him and didn’t give him anything good to hit.”
Sabathia would be front and center as A.J. Burnett made the familiar charge through the dugout, rushing to slam a whipped cream-filled towel in Teixeira’s face moments after the final out.
He flashed a toothy grin, saying that the gleeful celebration is still the best part of those wild home comebacks. But for the Yankees, picking up their ace topped the pie-man’s exploits for the night.
“He deserved a win tonight,” Teixeira said. “That fourth inning was just a weird inning. After that, he really shut them down. He deserved for us to come back and get that win for him.”
|Rodriguez, Al, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.288|
|Nunez, E, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.278|