Sportress of Blogitude

David Ortiz on CC Sabathia’s antics: ‘When I go deep, I put on my show, too’

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CC Sabathia put on a bravado performance Thursday night that hearkened back to his days of dominance, surrendering only one run in the New York Yankees’ 2-1 home win over the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees pitcher struck out eight over six innings, but perhaps no strikeout was more important than when he fanned David Ortiz in the top of the 5th inning with the game tied at one apiece, two outs on the board and the bases loaded.

It was a huge moment that could have drastically altered how the game played out, to be sure, and Sabathia’s reaction to Ortiz swinging through his 95-mph heater made it clear just how jacked up the pitcher was about shutting down Big Papi.

Sabathia erupted with energy, flexing and mugging before turning toward Ortiz and appearing to scream something along the lines of “Get the (expletive) out of here!”

Ortiz, a player of intense pride who doesn’t typically appreciate being shown up in such a manner, surprisingly took it all in stride, saying, per a tweet from Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson, “When I go deep, I put on my show, too.”

Fair enough and accurately stated.

Sabathia, who experienced symptoms of dehydration following a poor pitching performance in his previous start against the Texas Rangers, did acknowledge after the game that he was close to taking things too far with his on-the-mound antics.

“Obviously I was a little fired up and I think that was just my passion coming out,” he said. “You know it’s a fine line with me, so I have to be careful. But it worked out for me tonight.”

It was vintage Sabathia, to be sure. The Yankees now own a 4 1/2 game lead in the AL East over the Toronto Blue Jays, who come to Yankee Stadium for a three-game set on Friday. More performances like the one Sabathia put on Thursday night in the Bronx may mean the Yankees finally will complete the job of reasserting themselves as the team to beat in the East.