NEW YORK -- Neither Carlos Martinez or CC Sabathia could ever remember seeing a pitching line of eight walks and 11 strikeouts. The New York Yankees did just enough with Martinez's command issues and Sabathia produced a performance that is starting to become normal. While the Yankees scratched out three runs against an erratic Martinez, Sabathia carried a shutout into the eighth inning of a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. Martinez turned in one of the more bizarre performances of the season and in baseball history. He joined "Wild Bill" Hallahan (1930) as the only Cardinal to walk eight and strikeout 11. He also became the first pitcher in the majors with eight walks and 11 strikeouts since Hall of Famer Randy Johnson struck out 14 and walked nine in a complete game for Seattle on June 24, 1993. "I really wasn't able to execute the pitches as much as I wanted to," Martinez said through an interpreter. "I couldn't quite get the grasp on the changeup and the fastball but thank god I was able to work through it and finally find a rhythm through the later innings." Said Yankee third baseman Chase Headley: "I thought we did a great job of just laying off some tough pitches. He's got great stuff, and he was having a little bit of trouble getting into the zone." Martinez allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in 5 1/2 innings. He shut out the Yankees for four innings after allowing the first run on a wild pitch in the first. Then Martinez gave up two runs in the sixth on his throwing error on a chopper to the third base side of the mound and on a base hit by Chris Carter. "I mean it's just a testament to how good his stuff is," Sabathia said. "With all those runners on base, for us to score only one run off him, he's got some good stuff." Said Yankee manager Joe Girardi: "One of the stranger lines I've seen, five innings a guy walks eight and strikes out 11. "His stuff was good, but we were patient on him and made him work." Sabathia's stuff was better and he lowered his ERA to 1.47 by allowing one run, three hits and five baserunners in a strong 7 1/3-inning performance. It is his lowest ERA through the first three starts since 2011, and before losing his shutout bid on Jedd Gyorko's home run, Sabathia retired 17 of 19 hitters. "He pretty much had everything going," Headley said. "He was attacking the strike zone. He was getting strikeouts when he needed them, but he was also getting everybody out. " The left-hander, who has become a crafty pitcher in recent years, recorded his 225th win and also allowed three or fewer hits in at least 7 1/3 innings for the first time since Sept. 21, 2012 against Oakland. Sabathina surpassed Hall of Famers Jim Bunning and Catfish Hunter for 66th place on the all-time wins list, mixing his combination of sliders and fastballs, while honoring the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. "It was exciting to be out there on the mound," Sabathia said. "It was a big day for baseball, African-American players. To be able to wear 42 and get a win, it felt good." Sabathia's outing and just enough runs off a wild Martinez helped the Yankees win their sixth straight and improve to 5-0 at home for the first time since 2000. It also sent the Cardinals to their fifth loss in six games and marked the first time since 1997 they started 3-8. "It hasn't been quite what we were hoping to see yet," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "That doesn't mean that's the team we're destined to be." After Gyorko homered, Stephen Piscotty homered off Tyler Clippard in the ninth. Clippard then put two runners on but notched his first save by striking out Randal Grichuk. NOTES: The Cardinals and Yankees are the only teams to retire No. 42 for their own players. The Yankees retired RHP Mariano Rivera's number on Sept. 2013, and St. Louis retired RHP Bruce Sutter's number on Sept. 2006. ... DH Matt Holliday (lower back tightness) missed his first game after being a late scratch from New York's original lineup. The Yankees do not believe it is a long-term issue though it might keep him out of the lineup Sunday against close friend RHP Adam Wainwright. ... Holliday was replaced by 1B/DH Chris Carter, who struck out four times in five at-bats. ... St. Louis C Yadier Molina is hitless in his last 11 at-bats. Molina also was so upset at himself for allowing a wild pitch in the eighth inning that he slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration.
Yankees, Sabathia slip past Cardinals
The Sports Xchange | Apr 15