CC’s command was atrocious early on and the Rays made him pay. Ryan Roberts homered to get it started followed by an Evan Longoria single, Sean Rodriguez triple, and Yunel Escobar home run to make it 4-0. Roberts added another homer in the third inning that made it 5-0.
Although a runner did reach base in every inning after that CC really settled in and was never really in any danger of giving up runs. Ryan Roberts did get up again with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and a runner in scoring position, but CC was an entirely different pitcher by that time and got Roberts to ground out to third.
His velocity topped out at 92 mph and sat mostly around 90 mph all night, but it didn’t matter how fast he was throwing when he was hitting the catchers mitt. It was when Francisco Cervelli had to reach to catch the ball that he got hit hard.
CC’s final line: 7 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 3 HR. His ERA is upto 3.34. It should be noted that April has always been the worst month of the season for hm with a 4.02 ERA.
• The Yankees offense was literally Robinson Cano, who went 2-for-4 with a solo shot while the rest of the team went 0-for-25 with three walks (Brett Gardner had the two walks). That’ll help get some of those outrageous, small sample stat lines back in order.
• I’m excited to see Cano getting two hits off a lefty because he was horrible against them last year and early on it looked like he would struggle against southpaws again, but he’s 5-for-13 against them in the last week with two homers. If this is a trend he can continue look for him to have a monster season.
• Ben Francisco is now hitting .091/.200/.091 in 25 plate appearances. Normally, especially with veterans, I say give them the benefit of the doubt due to the small sample size, but this guy has gotten worse in each of the last four seasons. It might be a good idea to cut him and call up Zoilo Almonte or David Adams.
• Eduardo Nunez is down to .167/.275/.190 in 53 plate appearances. He should get the small sample size benefit of the doubt, but let’s just say it’s a good thing for him that Derek Jeter isn’t coming back soon because he isn’t winning any jobs.
• Kevin Youkilis was a late scratch because his back was acting up again. The Yankees have been downplaying the severity of this injury, but perhaps there is something to be concerned about after all. He was a big part of why the Yankees offense has been working. Taking him away will cause a lot more inconsistency with the lineup.
• Matt Moore has become scary good. As bad as the Yankees have done against southpaws this year, they’re down to .195/.266/.303 so far, Moore looked like a bona fide ace. His emergence makes me think the Rays won’t hesitate to trade David Price in the future.
(April 21, 2013 - Source: J. Meric/Getty Images North America).