Pitchers’ Duel Ends with Home Run by #Yankees Mark Teixeira
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 19- The rubber game of the weekend series between the Yankees and the Mariners on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium was an interesting pitchers’ duel.
Both starting pitchers, C.C. Sabathia of the Yankees and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, lasted six innings in the brutally hot and humid weather in the Bronx. Neither was involved in the decision as the score was knotted at 1 when each departed.
Sabathia yielded one run for only the second time in his 18 starts this season. The run was scored in the fifth frame on three singles. The RBI was by Austin Jackson, who was a highly rated Yankee prospect from 2005-2009. Other than the three hits in the fifth, Sabathia only yielded two hits in the game. Of Jackson, he joked, “I’ve got to figure out what to throw Jackson. Whatever I’m throwing isn’t working.”
Sabathia’s last start was on July 8, 11 days earlier. The veteran hurler found reasons for his success on Sunday, “I felt great. At this stage, I think I’m better with time off. I like it like this [temperature in the 90’s].”
Both Sabathia and his manager Joe Girardi fell he will improve and help his teammates during the latter stages of the pennant race. Griardi commented, “He understands this time of the year. He’s been here a long time. We need him to lead the guys. We need him to be big for us. We believe in him.”
The veteran hurler was in accord with his skipper in assuming a leadership role, “I’m trying to help this team. I believe I can. It’s not hard to help them in the second half.”
In his 10th career start in the Bronx, Hernandez was, as usual, effective and impressive. He has compiled a 1.38 ERA in his last eight starts at Yankee Stadium.
The 29 year old only surrendered five hits and a single run in his six inning stint. The run was scored in his final inning on a single by veteran Carlos Beltran on his first day back after 15 days on the disabled list. Despite his success against the Venezuelan born hurler, Beltran remarked, “He’s [Hernandez] as good as they come.”
The hero of the game, Yankee first sacker Mark Teixeira, who had two singles off the Mariners starter concurred with Beltran, “It’s tough to beat “King Felix”. He throws four pitches for strikes and only on the corners.”
The game was decided in the eighth inning with two out as Teixeira took a 1-2 pitch in the stands in right to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. The 2015 All-Star commented on the swing, “I was trying to drive the ball. A lot of hard work is paying off.” Teixeira now has 23 home runs and 63 RBI.
The Yankees continue to build on their lead in the American League East.