C.C. Sabathia has seen his season go up and down in the first five weeks. After looking sharp two games in a row against division rivals Tampa Bay and Boston, Sabathia gave up the big inning in the Bronx, failing to get that tough third out.
Through the first four innings, Sabathia looked like his normal self holding the Mariners’ lineup to only three hits and five strikeouts. His command was there and he was keeping each batter off balance. Pitching with a 2-0 lead, thanks to a Mark Teixeira homer and throwing error by catcher Mike Zunino, the big lefty was rolling and the stadium was rocking. Then the fifth inning came around where the game’s momentum completely changed. The Mariners loaded the bases with no outs on three of the most fortunate hits possible: an infield single (which was changed from an out after a successful Mariners’ challenge), a ground ball through the right side, and then a bunt single (hardly a hit) that Brian Roberts was late coming to cover the base. Sabathia then struck out Stefan Romero and got Robinson Cano to roll over to first base. It appeared he would escape only giving up one run, but instead he struggled to get that third out as he gave up a line drive double to center and then a line drive single to right. After the three-run rally with two outs, Sabathia got Cole Gillespie to fly out to Carlos Beltran in right.
The inning sucked the air out of the Yankees as they saw their lead vanish now trailing 4-2. Sabathia’s inability to get that third out was completely overshadowed by the fans paying more attention to booing Robinson Cano in his return to the Bronx. In the sixth inning, Sabathia started off shaky, putting the first two batters on by hitting one and giving up a hit to the next. Thankfully, Dellin Betances picked up Sabathia by retiring three consecutive batters without yielding any runs.
Overall, C.C. Sabathia was not bad by any means; he had one bad inning which was sparked by some bad luck. As good as Sabathia was in his previous two starts, let’s hope last nights performance was a mere hiccup in his road back to being the dominant starter that we all know and love.