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Monday, May 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Yankees 6, Orioles 4 (10)

By Andrew Marchand

WHAT IT MEANS: If you wanted to try to explain the Yankees' season so far, have someone rewatch Monday night's game. It was classic 2013 Yankees.

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELLS: After being left out of the lineup Monday, Vernon Wells was still a difference-maker. In the 10th, after Ichiro Suzuki, who started over Wells, knocked a leadoff double off Pedro Strop, Wells followed with a go-ahead ground-rule double. Wells continues to be an unbelievable story.

PRONK DELIVERS FOR THE BRONX: With the Yankees two outs from a loss, Travis Hafner ripped a game-tying solo homer to left center off Jim Johnson. Hafner, the man known as "Pronk," continues to be sensational. Johnson, on the other hand, has now blown three straight saves.

In the 10th, Hafner added a tack-on run, pulling an RBI single to right.

PRETTY GOOD TEX IMPERSONATION: Only better, actually.

Lyle Overbay continues to amaze. Overbay is now batting cleanup in front of Curtis Granderson.

Still, Overbay entered with just a .119 average and no homers against lefties in 42 at-bats. So, with the game tied, it made perfect sense for Buck Showalter to turn to lefty Troy Patton in the seventh to replace the reliable right-handed starter Freddy Garcia against Overbay.

Overbay took Patton deep to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. After 42 games, Overbay has seven homers. It took Teixeira 43 games to reach seven in 2012.

ONE MORE TIME: While the Orioles' pen fell apart, Mariano Rivera got his 17th save in 17 tries. His best-ever save start was 28-for-28 in 2008. Rivera is 43 and coming off knee surgery.

ROCKIN' ROBBIE: If 36-year-old Garcia throws Robinson Cano a belt-high fastball, what do you think happens? Well, Cano did exactly what you would expect in the first, going the other way for the Yankees' first homer of the night, a solo shot, on an 87 mph fastball. At the time, it was Cano's American League-leading 13th homer of the season.

DAVID IS GOLIATH: In the second, David Adams nailed his first major league home run, pulling a ball off Garcia, just inside the left-field foul pole. The Yankees were up 2-0. John Sterling's call was, "David is Goliath."

TOO MANY HITS, NOT ENOUGH SPEED: There is reason to be concerned about CC Sabathia. He not only returned leads twice Monday, but he now has allowed 10-plus hits in fewer than seven innings in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.

His fastball velocity (89-91 mph range) makes it so he has to be much finer with his pitches. Thus, he couldn't protect a 2-0 lead after two innings, and when given a one-run edge in the top of the seventh, he immediately gave it back, allowing the Orioles to score two in the bottom of the inning. Sabathia's final line was 6 1/3 innings with four runs (all earned) on 11 hits. He struck out just two and walked none.

The Yankees have had an amazing start to their season, but if they are going to have an equal finish, they need the big man to be an ace.

O's COMEBACK: In the second, Sabathia allowed a Chris Davis homer, but a lot of people have done that this season. With the solo shot, Davis tied Cano for the AL lead.

In the fifth, after ex-Yankee Steve Pearce doubled, Nick Markakis singled up the middle to tie the game at 2.

In the seventh, Alexi Casilla singled and Markakis doubled him home. Markakis scored the go-ahead run on a J.J. Hardy double. That was it for CC.

D-ROBBED: With the score tied and two outs in the ninth, Adam Jones bounced a weak infield single to third off David Robertson. Next, Jones stole second, beating a sharp throw from Austin Romine. But Robertson (3-0) escaped trouble by striking out Davis to force extras.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you think CC will be an ace again?