A rough day at the office for Sabathia
CC Sabathia was four batters into his afternoon and he was already staring off into the right-field bleachers at George M. Steinbrenner Field, where Garrett Jones’ three-run homer was making landfall against the steel and concrete seating area.
The left-handed ace’s second spring start didn’t go as well as he might have hoped, serving up five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out two. It served as a reminder that there is still plenty left to work on here in the Grapefruit League.
“It was tough. Terrible,” Sabathia said. “My location was bad. I collapsed my back side and everything was up. I’ll keep working to keep the ball down and get my secondary pitches where they need to be.”
The Yankees’ probable Opening Day starter, Sabathia said that he felt strong, which is the point at this time. But it was impossible to forget that he had a similar start last spring against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla., where he served up five runs in 1 2/3 innings, including a long Gary Sheffield home run that clanged off of a light post.
“It was the same kind of deal,” Sabathia said. “The ball was up and my secondary pitches were not there. … I guess it’s going to take a while. It’s pretty easy to hit when it’s like that.”
When Sabathia returned to the dugout, pitching coach Dave Eiland told him that he was collapsing his motion, but Sabathia said that he wants to be at the point where he can sense that himself on the mound.
“I always say results don’t matter, until you get out there and give up eight runs in two innings to the Pirates,” Sabathia said. “I’ll try to be better next time.”
Reminded that it was only five runs, Sabathia responded, “It should have been eight.”
- Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes will get three innings and 50 pitches each tomorrow against the Tigers in Lakeland, a lineup that should in all likelihood include former Yankee Johnny Damon.