CC Sabathia was signed for games like this. Tonight, he performed like the man the Yankees decided to pay $23M/year four years ago.
The New York Yankees finished off the Baltimore Orioles Friday night at Yankee Stadium behind a dominating and gutty complete game gem from CC Sabathia to advance to the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers.
There were only nine hits in the whole game and the Yankees had five of them but Ichiro Suzuki and Curtis Granderson had the two biggest hits of the game and those, along with a Raul Ibanez RBI single, were enough offense for the Yankees' workhorse, Sabathia.
Ichiro nearly put one out of the ball yard but hit the wall on a long double that scored Derek Jeter and Granderson hit a long bomb to deep right field to plate the Yankees' third run.
One of the more dramatic moments in the game was when Nate McLouth blasted a long fly ball to right field that was called foul on the field and then ruled foul after a booth review by the umpires. It's possible that the ball slightly grazed the foul pole but the evidence was inconclusive and too tough to determine by the naked eye even on replay.
The Yankees now meet the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS starting tomorrow night at Yankee Stadium. Game 1 and Game 2 will be played on back-to-back days, then a day off on Monday as the series shifts to Motown.
The story of this series was dominant starting pitching, mostly solid relief pitching (with the exception of O's closer Jim Johnson) and really anemic hitting from both clubs. As poor as the hitting was for the Yankees, the Orioles bats were actually weaker and more feeble.
The Bronx Bombers can thank CC Sabathia and the fan base should be grateful for every penny the team is paying their husky ace as this series clincher tonight was all about his masterful pitching performance. Thanks to CC, the Yankees move on. The Orioles dream season is over.
Thanks to all who followed on the live blog, we appreciate your readership and comments. Stay tuned for more MLB Playoff coverage in the days and weeks to come.
Final Score and American League Division Series result:
Yankees Win 3-1 and win series 3-2 to advance to ALCS.
Game 1: New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers Saturday night, 8:00pm