Thursday, April 18, 2013

Comeback Kids

Getty Images / Al Bello
What was looking like an apparent loss for the Yankees and CC Sabathia last night, turned into their first great comeback of the season. With a little help from Brett Gardner and a major blast from Travis Hafner, the Yankees were able to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the seventh inning to beat the Diamondbacks, 4-3.

This was one of those nights where CC did not have his best stuff, yet was still brilliant. After giving up a two-run homerun to Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning, he settled in, using a variety of different pitches and speeds to keep the game within reach. Following the Goldschmidt home run and a single to Cody Ross, CC would retire his next 10 batters and would not give up another run until the fifth inning, when AJ Pollock hit a sacfly to score Josh Wilson who tripled on a line drive. He continued through the next two innings getting groundball outs and strikeouts with a bevy of pitches ranging anywhere from 74-90 mph.

Then, in the seventh inning, the Yankees' offense came through. Ben Francisco, who got his first hit of the season, singled on a grounder to left. Brennan Boesch followed with a double on a fly ball which moved Francisco to third. Eduardo Nunez walked on a groundball in the dirt from Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley to load the bases. Miley then walked Jayson Nix, scoring Francisco, and gave up a line-drive single to Gardner which brought in Boesch and Nunez, and tied the game at 3.

CC would return for the 8th and pitch a 1-2-3 inning, giving the Yankees another opportunity to take the lead. And on his first swing, Hafner nailed a 96 mph fastball from David Hernandez to right center field. Mariano Rivera closed out the ninth inning, getting his fourth save in 4 opportunities.

AP Photo / Kathy Willens
The Yankees appear to be on a nice roll now. The pitching staff has really settled in and the offense is coming through in key spots.What has to happen now is figuring out what adjustments need to made with Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova. It's been the veterans carrying the load while the young arms are continuing to struggle. Tonight, as Hughes pitches for the sweep, the key for him will be to get good movement and location on his changeup for strikeouts, and to keep his pitch count within reason. So far this season, when the starters have pitched beyond 5 innings, the Yankees have won. Hughes has yet to get into the fifth; hopefully tonight he will give this team length and secure his first win.

Hughes goes up against Patrick Corbin whose 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. Game time is 7:05 pm.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

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