On September 21, 2008, the Yankees defeated the Orioles 7-3 at the last game ever played at the old Yankee Stadium. However, the Yankees couldn’t get it together in the first game at the new Yankee Stadium opener against the Indians. Despite being tied at one going into the seventh inning, the Yanks bullpen imploded in the seventh and the team lost 10-2.
On this historic day, CC Sabathia took on Cliff Lee. They each gave up one run, so the game was decided by the teams’ bullpens. Sabathia was pulled with two outs in the sixth because he had already thrown 122 pitches. Phil Coke finally did something right by inducing Grady Sizemore to fly out. But the trouble began for the Yanks in the top of the seventh after they were retired in order in the sixth.
Jose Veras took over for Coke in an attempt to hold the game to a tie. Instead, he allowed a walk and two doubles, and was pulled immediately by Joe Girardi. Although, Damaso Marte was even worse. He gave up a grand slam to Sizemore and two other runs.
Lee was replaced in the seventh inning by Rafael Perez, who ran into some trouble but escaped it by only allowing one run. With men on first and second and no out, Jorge Posada, who hit the first home run in the new Yankee Stadium in the fifth, grounded into a double play. Luckily, the Yanks had the streaking Cano up next, and he delivered a clutch RBI-single. But that was the end of the rally, and the Yanks could not do anything about Cleveland’s insurmountable lead. The final score: 10-2.
As John Sterling would say, “This is certainly not the way the Yankees drew this one out. You can never predict baseball.” (This is an indirect quote, but you get the idea.) For once, I agree with Sterling. Sabathia was coming off a great outing, and Lee was 0-2 with a 9.90 ERA. Sabathia was good, but he was not economical with his pitch count and it costed the Yankees their home-opener.
According to Joshua Robinson of the NY Times, the fans began to joke about calling Nick Swisher into pitch, chanting, “We want Swi-sher.” That is embarassing, and unfortunately will forever be remembered.
- Other than Posada’s homer, Cano was the only standout performer. He went three-for-four with an RBI to improve his batting average to .421 for the season.
- Sabathia’s final line: 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 5 BB, 4 K. Everything was good except the walks and the pitch count.
The Yankees will look to redeem themselves tomorrow at 1:05 pm EST,Fan-favorite Joba Chamberlain will take on Anthony Reyes.
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