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Yankees v. Mets – June 20 – post-game

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia pitches

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia pitches during the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies. (June 15, 2010) Credit: AP

CC Sabathia might be undefeated right now if not for those pesky aerosol cans.

Instead he’ll have to settle for an 8-3 record after pitching eight innings of shutout ball in a 4-0 win over the Mets.

When asked why Sabathia has been so much better as of late, Girardi deadpanned “Global warming,” adding that Sabathia was good in April and struggled in May. “They seem to chalk so many things up to global warming.”

Sabathia pitched through the eighth inning for the first time since May 3 against Baltimore and allowed no runs for the first time since April 10 against Tampa Bay. Sabathia was only at 100 pitches at the end of the eighth, but a 22-minute rain delay foiled his opportunity to record a shutout.

Girardi said it was debated on whether to send Sabathia out for the ninth and that the downpour made the choice easier. If he was back on the mound in the ninth, he would have gone hitter-by-hitter, Girardi said.

Pitching in 90 degree weather and against one of the better pitchers in baseball—Johan Santana—didn’t faze Sabathia.

“I wish I could say I think about it differently, but I don’t,” said Sabathia, who allowed just four hits and two walks, striking out six. “I’m not going out there facing those guys, I’m facing a lineup.”

Alex Rodriguez was also removed from the game in the ninth, with Ramiro Pena taking over at the hot corner.

“It’s precautionary right now,” Girardi said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to get away from that after awhile.”

Rodriguez said his leg “felt really good” and that he hopes to play as much as possible on the West Coast swing the Yankees start tomorrow.

“In a perfect world, I hope I get to play all six,” he said. “Right now, that’s the plan.”

The Yankees built a 4-0 lead in the third inning with a Mark Teixeira grand slam. It’s his second homer in two days and third since Tuesday. He homered from the left side of the plate on Saturday and from the right side Sunday.

When asked if his current slump—Teixeira is hitting just .226 on the season—is frustrating, his response was terse.

“I hit a home run today,” he said. “I hit a home run yesterday. I hit a home run off Roy Halladay (Tuesday). Next question.”

Teixeira got his shot after Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter singled to start the frame. With two men on and no score, Nick Swisher placed a perfect drag bunt, reaching on the attempt as well as advancing the runners. Swisher said he wasn’t necessarily bunting for a hit, but was trying to move the runners over for the power hitters. His plan worked.

“I know right?” He said. “I look like a genius.”

“If I get a changeup first pitch, the last thing I want to do is get under it for a double play,” he said. “(I was trying to) do what we’ve done best all year long, is pass the torch.”

Mejia Sent Down

Jenry Mejia, who pitched a perfect seventh with one strikeout in relief of Johan Santana, was sent down after the game.

“We felt that his development and progression kind of leveled off,” Jerry Manuel said. “It was a tremendous experience for him and he gave us everything he had. But to get him to the next level, he needs to pitch on a regular basis.”

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