The Yankees hope that CC Sabathia’s start on Sunday will go better than when he faced the Rangers back in May.
The veteran southpaw was hit hard in Texas, as he squandered a 4-0 lead, giving up five runs in the fourth. The Yankees scored six runs in the fifth to go up 10-5, but Sabathia couldn’t get out of the fifth and left with the score 10-7. Texas would eventually win 12-10.
It was the worst start of the season for Sabathia, who has given up more than three runs in four of his 21 starts, and more than four runs twice.
Sabathia has a 3.49 ERA this season, which would be his lowest since 2012 if he ended at the same mark. It would his third straight season with a sub-4.00 ERA after recording at least a 4.50 ERA in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
He has allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his last 11 starts. He has been consistent, both in limiting damage and not pitching deep into games. The last time he pitched six innings was on July 4 against Atlanta, which happened to be the last time he won a game. After a loss to the Orioles, Sabathia has received no-decisions in each of his last four starts.
There was some vintage CC on Tuesday against the White Sox when he struck out 12 batters in 5.2 innings. He became the second oldest Yankee with at least a dozen strikeouts in a game, behind Roger Clemens. He has 99 strikeouts this season, and will likely reach 100 today as he has in all but one of his 18 seasons in the majors.
Sabathia has been comfortable in the Bronx, going 4-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts this season at Yankee Stadium, and has allowed no earned runs in four of the starts.
This scene will hopefully be more welcoming than the one in Texas several months ago.