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Sunday, June 16, 2013
Postgame notes: Pitchers as targets

By Wallace Matthews

ANAHEIM -- Practically lost in the pleasant surprise of the New York Yankees bats suddenly reawakening for six runs Sunday, as well as the unsettling near-collapse of their two best relievers in the ninth inning, was the frightening sight of two pitchers being hit hard by batted balls late in the game.

First, it was CC Sabathia getting nailed by a shot in the torso off the bat of Mike Trout in the sixth inning. And in the ninth, David Robertson took a liner from Mark Trumbo in the right thigh. Both said they were OK after the game, but Robertson's thigh, in the area just above his knee, was clearly heavily wrapped under his suit as he left for the team plane.

"I didn’t even see it," Robertson said. "But I had a pretty good idea it was coming at me. It was better than getting hit in the knee. It would have been even better if it turned into a double-play ball."

Instead, it turned into an RBI single. Sabathia's shot became an infield hit and was ultimately harmless when CC retired Albert Pujols to end the inning. Sabathia said the shot hit him "in the belt" and did no damage. "I'm fine," he said. "I'm big."

Also:

-- Despite his ninth-inning struggles, there was some nice career symmetry to Mariano Rivera earning his 24th save in his last regular-season appearance at Angel Stadium. This is also the park where he made his big-league debut on May 23, 1995, and where he got the first of his 632 career saves, on May 17, 1996.

-- Brett Gardner remained the hottest hitter in the Yankees lineup. He was 2-for-4 today and 17-for-43 (.395) on the road trip. He also snapped a personal 0-for-9 against Jered Weaver, against whom he went 2-for-3.

-- Travis Hafner had not hit a home run against the Angels since Sept. 7, 2010.

-- Jayson Nix was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. It was his first three-hit game since April 7.

-- Each of the 41,204 fans here today were given a ticket-sized card commemorating the major milestones of Rivera's career, and he was given a standing ovation from the crowd when he entered the game in the ninth inning.