CC Sabathia taking on Rays, not radar guns
CC Sabathia was very frank after his last outing, in which he essentially said that if this is where his velocity is going to be for the rest of the season, he will find a way to win with it.
“I’m hoping some more velocity comes back. If not, we’ll work with this,” Sabathia said. “I don’t know how many starts or innings, but it’s something everybody is going to go through. We’ll see if this is my time.”
The big left-hander is going for his fourth victory in as many starts tonight against the Rays here at Tropicana Field, and he has done it without the mid-90’s fastball that was firmly in his toolbelt when he came to the Yankees in ’09. Sabathia’s velocity then averaged about 94 mph, but these days he’s working more in the 89-90 range.
“One thing we’ve always said about CC is he knows how to pitch, and he has to continue to do that,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said today. “His changeup becomes very important,his slider and his curveball and his location with his sinker becomes very important. When you don’t have velocity that maybe you once had, sometimes you don’t get away with some of your mistakes. But he has very good command.”
- Update: Ooh. That didn’t go so well. Ryan Roberts homered, Sean Rodriguez legged out an RBI triple and Yunel Escobar hit a two-run shot as Sabathia allowed four runs in a very shaky first inning. Roberts’ homer was on a hanging 0-2 slider. CC’s top speed in the first inning was 90 mph.
Matt Moore has the ball for Tampa Bay, taking on a lineup that will not include Kevin Youkilis, whose back tightened after taking batting practice.
“He has very good command of his fastball and a very good curveball,” Girardi said of Moore. “So when he leaves one of those fastballs out over the plate, you better not miss it.”