The New York Yankees are very much alive in the AL Wild Card race, and they can thank a series sweep over the Chicago White Sox for that position. CC Sabathia broke out of a long slump with a solid performance, and Mariano Rivera slammed the door with a rare, 4-out save to lead the Yankees to a series-closing, 6-5 win.
For Sabathia, this was his best start in nearly a month, and it was a throwback to the time period where he anchored a strong Yankees staff. The big left-hander did allow 3 runs on the night, but he persevered through 7.1 innings while allowing only 5 hits. Sabathia’s season has really gotten away from him (to the tune of a 4.86 ERA), but it had to be encouraging for any Yankees fan to see him performing at a reasonably high level.
Offensively, the Yankees scored 6 unanswered runs in the middle innings, and they were led by Robinson Cano. It’s a familiar refrain to see Cano leading the way, but he blasted a 1st-inning home run and added to his 3-for-4 night with an RBI infield single in the 4th inning. In addition, outfielder Brett Gardner added 2 hits and 2 RBIs in continuance of his very solid season.
At the backend, the infamous Mariano Rivera recorded 4 consecutive outs to slam the door on a big-time rally for Chicago. The White Sox scored 4 runs in the 8th inning (2 off of Sabathia, and 2 off of David Robertson), prompting Rivera to get a very rare call in the 8th inning. However, the old man responded with an electric effort, and the game was over in what seemed like an instant.
The Yankees have a long way to go, but if they can continue to compete for the Wild Card despite a mountain of issues, it will be a very, very impressive campaign.