With a 6-0 lead and just one inning to play, the New York Yankees (with CC Sabathia, no less) are traditionally the safest bet in all of baseball. After all, the Yankees have the best closer of all-time in Mariano Rivera, one of the best set-up men in the league in David Robertson, and on Sunday, they even had their #1 starter in Sabathia throwing an 8-inning shutout.
Today, however, the Angels nearly the toppled the team in pinstripes.
After a double by Mike Trout (not exactly a shocking result) and a walk to Albert Pujols, Sabathia was removed by Joe Girardi in favor of the aforementioned Robertson. The normally dominant Robertson wasn’t so dominant, however, as he allowed an RBI single to Mark Trumbo, and while he did retire Howie Kendrick, another walk to JB Shuck caused Girardi to go his “ace in the hole” in Rivera.
When Mo arrived, it was clear that Yankees nation caught their collective breath, but despite his mystique, the Hall of Famer didn’t have his best “stuff” on Sunday afternoon. Rivera allowed 3 hits, walked a batter, and 4 runs crossed the plate against him (only one of which was “earned” by him), and frankly, he was less-than-stellar. However, a face-off between two of the best of all-time saw Rivera strike out Albert Pujols, and with one swing, the crazy game was over.
In the standings, it will go down as a simple victory for the Yankees, but it was anything but a cake walk. Watching Mariano Rivera and, to a lesser extent, David Robertson struggle to that degree is alarming, but in the end, a win is a win. Monday will be a much-needed off day for the Bronx Bombers, and by the time they hit the field against the Dodgers on Tuesday, the way that they won Sunday’s game will be forgotten, and it was simply be a notch in the “W” column.