Sabathia dominates despite rain

CC Sabathia pitched beautifully through the rain drops.

As CC Sabathia was mowing down Mariner after Mariner with machine-like efficiency, head groundskeeper Dan Cunningham was coming into Joe Girardi’s line of vision. That meant one thing — heavy rains were falling and there would soon be a delay.

That was about the only thing stopping Sabathia last night in a 4-1 win over the hapless Seattle Mariners, that and Brendan Ryan’s one-out single in the top of the seventh, which spoiled the best pitcher in the American League’s date with perfection against a team now mired in a club-record 17-game losing streak.

Instead, Sabathia settled for allowing one hit in seven-plus innings while establishing a career high with 14 strikeouts. His pitches were sharp most of the night except for after a second delay of 14 minutes that caused pitches to escape the strike zone and load the bases.

“After the first delay, I felt pretty good,” Sabathia said. “After the second delay, I lost my command and release point.”

“He could of,” Girardi said. “He was so sharp before the rain delay and then I thought his slider got a little bit bigger after the rain delay. I didn’t think he was quite as sharp and we’ll never know.”

Before the first delay began with one out in the sixth, Sabathia had struck out seven straight Mariners, one shy of the AL record. During that stretch, he threw 30 pitches, getting seven foul balls and seven swinging strikes.

“When you see he has fastball command and sliders – he’s going to do some damage,” catcher Francisco Cervelli said.

During the half hour delay, Sabathia spent the idle time staying loose and hanging around with card-playing teammates in the clubhouse, which is unlike other pitchers who get the silent treatment. Also unlike others working on no-hitters and perfect games, Sabathia said he knew since he was pitching from the stretch virtually all night.

“You know you have to pitch out of the stretch,” Sabathia said. “I knew from the first pitch to the last pitch – that’s the situation I’m in.”

After softly getting the final two outs of the sixth, Sabathia maintained perfection by getting Ichiro Suzuki for his 12th strikeout. Then he reached his first 2-0 count and on the next fastball, Ryan lined it cleanly into left field for Seattle’s first hit and first ball hit into the outfield since Ichiro lined out to center in the first.

It ended his longest stretch of perfection, surpassing the 17 straight he retired at Minnesota on Sept. 2, 2005.

“Without the delays, there was no doubt in my mind, he was going to get a no-hitter,” Eric Chavez said.

“He was going right after guys,” Mark Teixeira added. “He was as dominant as I’ve seen in a long time. That’s why I thought he had a really good chance.”

Sabathia continued mowing the Mariners down by getting Dustin Ackley for his 13th strikeout and setting a career high with his third strikeout of Miguel Olivo, who saw 12 pitches.

“That was about as good of stuff as I’ve seen him have,” said Seattle manager Eric Wedge, who had Sabathia in Cleveland. “He had a better fastball then we’ve seen him have at times. He’s always had a good fastball but at times, he was really consistent with it tonight. His secondary stuff was as good as we’ve seen it.”

A 14-minute delay halted play during the seventh inning stretch and when Sabathia returned for the eighth, he had his first three-ball count and second baserunner when Justin Smoak walked. David Robertson began warming up and Sabathia walked Franklin Guttierez on a full count.

Sabathia appeared to lose steam in the eighth as he walked Mike Carp on a full count, prompting Robertson to come in. As Sabathia walked off the mound, a scoreboard graphic saying “Notorious CC” appeared and the remainder of the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

Robertson, otherwise known as “Mr. Bases Loaded” had struck out 10 straight with the bases loaded until Chone Figgins’ groundout scored the only run. He then worked out of first and second by striking out Ichiro a third time and then Mariano Rivera closed out a record-tying night of strikeouts by getting Olivo for the fourth time.

The Yankees didn’t do much of Doug Fister, who is 3-12 with the AL’s worst run support. They had a 3-0 lead through five and that was all they really needed on a night that showcased the best pitcher in the AL.

“He can throw every pitch, every time,” Cervelli said. “To me, he’s the best lefty in the AL.”

Worth noting

Eric Chavez returned after missing 2 ½ months with assorted injuries and manned third base. Under no circumstances does that mean he is the everyday third baseman while Alex Rodriguez is out. He was just there because Girardi felt Eduardo Nunez and his fast-paced style of play could use the day off.

Not only did Chavez break his foot, but he also suffered a setback with a kidney stone and a back injury.

Though he was hitting a more than respectable .303 when he injured himself in Detroit, Chavez thinks he actually could be doing better.

“I’m hoping that it’s better,” he said. “I thought I wasn’t driving the ball. I thought I would start driving the ball.”

Chavez successfully fielded two early ground balls and then had a fifth-inning RBI single in his first game action since May 5.

» Rafael Soriano could be activated today but that decision will come after he is done being re-evaluated.

» Mark Teixeira hit his 100th home run as a Yankee but really wanted the perfect game to happen. He was on the losing end of Mark Buehrle’s masterpiece in 2007 with the Texas Rangers and said he wants to cross being on the winning side off his baseball bucket list.

» Joe Torre took part in yesterday’s HOPE Week event along with Mariano Rivera, Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, Cory Wade and Steve Garrison. The community outreach event was a surprise lunch with Tuesday’s Children, a Sept. 11 charity, at the Beekman Beach Club at the South Street Seaport.


Follow Larry Fleisher on Twitter
@LarryFleisher.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."