Scout’s Eye: CC Shines As The Yankees Get Ready For The Playoffs

Yankee manager Joe Girardi decided to start CC Sabathia Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays in an attempt to catch the Red Sox with two games to go. Needing to have Boston lose their two remaining games to Houston and the Yankees win their next two was quite the challenge. Jaime Garcia was originally scheduled to make the start but Girardi saw the Sox lose Friday night, keeping the AL East in play.

After Sabathia give up a hard line drive single to center by Toronto lead off hitter Teoscar Hernandez on the first pitch of the game, Girardi must have reached for that five gallon bucket of antacid in the dugout. But then an interesting thing happened.

Like the movie, “Back to the Future,” the big guy looked like he got into the “Delorean” and went back to 2012 as he mowed down the Blue Jays for the next five and two third innings. The southpaw is not the high 90’s fastball pitcher of the past anymore, but he has made the transition into a savvy experienced veteran who knows how to win.
What a contrast from the big power arms who just throw.

(BTW: Someone else who has become interesting is Todd Frazier. His play at third has been phenomenal. If the Bombers do get to go deep in the playoffs, look for him to be the Scott Brosius of these Yankees.)

The Yankees scored first in the fourth inning as “Mr. MVP” candidate Aaron Judge, hit a monster home run that hit the wall next to the retired numbers over the visitors bullpen. It was number 52 and tied him with Mickey Mantle for 8th best on the all time list for home runs in a season by a Yankee. He also passed Babe Ruth with his 33rd home run in one season at any home venue in franchise history. (Ruth set the franchise mark in 1921 while playing his home games at the Polo Grounds) That’s some hefty company to be in for this amazing rookie.

The Yankees added another run in the fourth on a Starlin Castro RBI infield single scoring Didi Gregorious. It proved to be the game winner as the Yanks held on for a 2-1 win.

Chad Green took over for Sabathia with two out in the sixth and once again showed why the Yanks believe in the depth of their bullpen to be an asset in this post season. Hard throwing right hander Tommy Kahnle replaced Green in the eighth, but he put the first two batters on and was pulled for David Robertson. After a strike out, Robertson loaded the bases, but as has been his “M-O” over the years, the veteran reliever escaped with the lead. He traded a run for an out as he got Josh Donaldson to fly out to left to make it a 2-1 game and then ended the threat by striking out Justin Smoak with two on. Girardi had no one up in the bullpen so it was Robertson’s inning.

It was a good day all around except for the fact that the out of town scoreboard showed the Bosox won their game and wrapped up the division for a second straight season.

Now that the dust of the divisional race has settled, the Yankee arms need to take a rest. I would sit Jordan Montgomery tomorrow and give that young arm a chance to rest up for a possible deep playoff run. He could be a pivotal game changer if the Yankees do go deep in this post season. I believe Montgomery has the poise and make up of a solid starter. He is someone to watch.

This has been one heck of a season by this well balanced team, built by Brian Cashman and company. If I had a vote for Executive of the Year, he is the hands down winner. So fasten your seat belts New York. The playoffs are about to begin and all is correct and balanced in the universe because the Yankees are in it again.

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