New York turned to its ace and he got the job done—barely.
Sabathia, who recorded a no-decision in a 6-5 Yankees win in Game One despite the second-shortest postseason start of his career, gave up 11 hits but only one run in six innings of work.
Sabathia improved to 21-5 at Yankee Stadium, but most importantly he ensured his side would live to fight another day.
The left-hander looked to pitch everyone inside, but his command, especially early on, was not perfect. He gave up three hits over the first two innings, but it was very much a bend-but-not-break start with no real damage.
Only Elvis Andrus made it past second base until the sixth inning, and his slider looked good, as evidenced when he fanned Moreland on three pitches in the third, confused Ian Kinsler in the fourth and made Guerrero look bad in the sixth.
When Sabathia did miss over the heart of the plate, Texas was able to put solid contact on the ball, but for all of their double-digit hits, only one man came across to score.
After coasting through the first four frames unharmed, he gave up a solo homer to Treanor to lead off the fifth...one of the only mistakes he made all day.
There were three big moments that defined his start.
First he blanked the top of the Texas lineup in the third inning immediately after the Yanks had put a three spot. Then he got Hamilton to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to end the fifth when the Rangers threatened to get back into the game. Finally, he limited the damage to one run after loading the bases in the sixth.