In a pitcher's duel in an exciting playoff atmosphere at Dodger Stadium, the Yankees were just a little bit better, defeating the Dodgers 2-1 in the first game of their interleague series. After allowing a run in the first inning, CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera quietly put the Dodgers to bed over the final eight innings.
Sabathia was outstanding tonight, allowing the Dodgers one measly run in eight innings. He threw 115 pitches in eight innings, walking three and striking out seven. He allowed just four hits, two of them singles by Manny Ramirez, who drove in the Dodgers' only run, in the first inning. In his career against Sabathia, including the postseason, Ramirez has 18 hits in 28 at-bats. Sabathia improved to 5-0 with a 2.19 ERA in June.
Rivera entered the game in the ninth inning to face Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and James Loney, but Rivera was dominant, striking all of them out. The final two pitches to Loney were questionable, down and away, and Loney was ejected after the game for throwing his helmet and for inviting home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi to do something anatomically impossible to himself. However, after the first down and away pitch called a strike, it's on Loney to adjust and not take another pitch in the same spot.
Vicente Padilla had easily his best outing of the season, allowing just two runs in seven innings. He walked one and struck out seven, pushing his season totals to an impressive 34 strikeouts and just eight walks. Over his last five starts, Padilla has walked just five men while striking out 32. However, he did allow his eighth home run of the season, a rocket shot well into the left field pavilion by Alex Rodriguez, the 593rd home run of his illustrious career.
Tonight was the third time in five games that a Dodger starter has allowed two runs in seven innings. The Dodgers have lost all three of those games.
On the Prime Ticket broadcast tonight, a graphics was shown that tonight was the first game Joe Torre has played or managed against the Yankees, a span of 6,442 games. Not only did Torre lose on a home run by Alex Rodriguez, but also was on the receiving end of a Rivera beat down for the first time ever.
WP - CC Sabathia (9-3): 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Vicente Padilla (1-2): 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Sv - Mariano Rivera (17): 1 IP, 3 strikeouts