Jeff Gray pitched two innings tonight. When that happens chances are it's not very close. The final score of 7-2 Yankees doesn't really tell the truth of this game, which was actually a pretty close one except for one half inning. It was also a very sloppy one, evidenced by four errors by the A's defense (though the one charged to Nomar Garciaparra in the fourth should have been a hit all the way).
Once again, Vin Mazzaro failed to last deep into the game as his pitch count through five innings was very Zito-esque, 103. Conversely, CC Sabathia only threw 94 in eight. The A's got solo homers by Kurt Suzuki (one pitch after Sabathia threw behind him) and Tommy Everidge in the first two innings, then Sabathia settled into a serious groove as he retired 13 of the last 14 hitters he faced. On the night he allowed just five hits, walked one and struck out seven (four alone by Adam Kennedy).
If Sabathia was a Prius tonight, Mazzaro was as economical as a Lamborghini Murcielago. I'm not talking about speed, either. Those things only get about 10 MPG (I looked it up). If you think I'm stretching for the comparison, you're right. He was in trouble all night long and somehow managed to get out of most of it, only allowing two runs (one earned) while giving up six hits, three walks, plus a few more baserunners thanks to errors and hitting Alex Rodriguez in the first. He whiffed a pair.
The sixth was where it all fell apart. After Jay Marshall got the first out on a high chop, it went like this: double, HBP, single, double. Santiago Casilla came in and walked his first two hitters on eight pitches, then gave up a single and a sacrifice fly. In all, the Yankees crossed the plate five times and with the way Sabathia was pitching tonight that was all they needed. Seriously, why was Marshall used against so many right-handed hitters there? David Robertson did a Casilla imitation in the bottom of the ninth but his walks started off the inning. Mariano Rivera got off the bullpen bench but wasn't needed as Robertson left the runners on.
Tomorrow night sees the return of Chad Gaudin, sans bad facial hair, against Brett Anderson in the rubber game of the series.