CC Sabathia struck out 10 Atlanta Braves and threw a seven-hit complete game to lead the New York Yankees franchise to its first double-digit winning streak since 2005.
Sabathia’s (9-3) latest complete game totals 34 for his career and his first of the 2012 season. His dominance of the Braves on Monday came in large part to relying on his slider.
“That’s the best I’ve ever seen him throw it,” Chris Stewart, Sabathia’s personal catcher, told ESPN.com.
Mike Minor (3-5) pitched well opposite of Sabathia for four innings by holding a 2-0 lead given to him by Michael Bourn and Jason Heyward. However, the Yankees bats came alive when Russell Martin made the best of being assigned to DH and hit an RBI double in the fifth inning. Derek Jeter, who refused to be outdone, hit a two-run single through the infield that same inning to score both Robinson Cano and Martin.
Last week, the Yankees’ ace gave up a season-high 10 hits and four earned runs to Atlanta despite getting the decision in a 6-4 road victory. Monday was the first time that Sabathia has pitched up to the standards the rest of the starting pitchers have set during their recent dominant stretch.
During this past month’s stellar starting pitching streak, Sabathia (9-3, 3.55 ERA) has been the Yankees’ worst starter. In June, the lefty All-Star candidate won two of his previous three starts with a 3.86 ERA, while the other four pitchers combined for a 10-0 record and a 1.49 ERA. Without question there are 29 other teams that would easily settle for Sabathia’s “struggles.”
Atlanta’s struggles in interleague play and in Monday games is what the other 29 teams would be reluctant to take on. Coming into Monday night’s game, the Braves lost seven of their last 12 interleague games, including last week’s sweep at Turner Field to the Yankees. For the season, the Braves are 0-10 on Mondays and have only scored 16 runs. Atlanta came to the Bronx hoping to reek havoc, however, their odds of succeeding are minimal as they face a Yankee team on the verge of separating itself from the rest of the American League.
With this latest win, the Yankees are now two games away from sweeping the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, and Braves, twice, in four consecutive series – these teams place first, second, and third in the National League East. It is an uphill battle for the Braves to win this series, especially since they have only manufactured two runs in their last 29 innings.
The Braves offense has been their Achilles’ heel throughout the season as they are among one of the streakiest hitting teams in the league. In their last 24 contests, Atlanta is 9-15 because of a .234 batting average that led to only 82 runs; 29 of those runs came in three games. Atlanta’s only hope is that the offense can awaken in the hitter’s park that is Yankee Stadium.
Notes: According to a tweet (@ajcbraves) from the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s David O’Brien, RHP Brandon Beachy (5-5) has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, which is a sign that he may need Tommy John Surgery. On Monday, Beachy, who will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list after leaving Saturday’s loss to the Baltimore Orioles with soreness in his right elbow. Losing Beachy, the league leader in ERA (2.00), would be devastating for Atlanta as they sit 4.5 games outside of first in the NL East and are trying to overcome their recent hitting woes.
About the Author
Written by Jourdan Shepard
New York born. New Jersey bred. Earned my degree on a Georgia clay hill. "Rooting for my rival is like wanting the house to win in blackjack...."