CC Sabathia entered Thursday night's start against the Red Sox with an ERA of 5.54, but left with six inning of one-run ball, setting up the New York bullpen to secure the series win over Boston in a low-scoring affair.
It was a rough night all-around for Boston's offense. The Red Sox did nothing so much as make CC Sabathia look like, well, the CC Sabathia of old. The closest they even came to threatening him through the first four innings was a walk and a single from Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Hanigan respectively. That was something of a trend tonight, with only the tail-end of the lineup really showing any teeth as the top of the order provided pretty much nothing.
The Yankees, on the other hand, weren't looking quite so incapable against Eduardo Rodriguez. Only a close play at first, overturned on replay, got Rodriguez out of what would have been a bases loaded jam in the first. And while the second had proven easier, the third saw the Yankees produce another two-out rally, with Brett Gardner scoring on a double from Alex Rodriguez to put the Yankees ahead 1-0.
After the heart of Boston's order went down quietly in the fourth, it looked like that one run might just be enough. But the fifth finally saw the Red Sox get on the oard, with Ryan Hanigan setting the table with a one-out single, moving to second on a two-out walk from Jackie Bradley Jr., and scoring as Didi Gregorious proved unable to keep Rusney Castillo's ground ball from getting past him into the outfield.
It would ultimately prove an inning of waste, however, as David Ortiz struck out with the bases loaded to leave the game tied instead of putting the Red Sox ahead. And while the Yankees repaid the favor in the bottom half, failing to bring a run home after loading the bases with one out as Eduardo Rodriguez got a pair of pop-ups from Mark Teixeira and Chris Young, they would be the ones to laugh last. Trying to get through the seventh (a reasonable goal given the bullpen behind him), Eduardo Rodriguez would end up striking out the side, but not in order. The one blip on the radar was a big one, with Jacoby Ellsbury punishing a slider over the plate for a solo shot that put the Yankees ahead 2-1.
And unfortunately, where Boston's bullpen is a blown save waiting to happen, the same cannot be said for New York's. While the Sox did get a few baserunners in the last couple of innings, they all came with two outs, and they could never pick up that decisive hit to tie the game again. In the end, seven innings of two-run ball--occasionally shaky though they were--from Eduardo Rodriguez went to waste.