Russell Martin said CC Sabathia actually looked alright tonight. Mark Teixeira said the Yankees need to start scoring some more runs for him. Joe Girardi said he’s pitched better than his record suggests.
But it seems Sabathia himself doesn’t buy any of it.
“No, I don’t,” he said. “This is what it is. I’m out there trying to help the team. I’m just good enough to lose right now.”
Just good enough to lose. That about sums it up. Losing his first five decisions this season matches the longest single-season losing streak of his career. He has the highest ERA on the Yankees’ staff, he hasn’t won a game in more than a year, and he’s never been this deep into the month of May without a win.
Yes, the Yankees have scored just 13 runs in his six starts, and that’s pretty brutal. But Sabathia’s allowed four runs or more in four of those starts. Tonight he made a home run mistake to Martin, but it was the costly balk and the two-run single to a left-handed No. 9 hitter that had him really kicking himself.
“I feel healthy. I feel good,” he said. “… I feel like I should be a little better. Just a couple of pitches here and there in games that have killed me. The triple in the Baltimore game. The single today. Just those little things I need to tighten up.”
Of those nine hits tonight, seven were singles. Sabathia might have allowed just three runs if not for a balk that pushed a runner into scoring position in the fourth. He pitched deep in the game, and his velocity seemed to be up a little bit. But still, it was just another loss when his 5.45 ERA stayed basically the same.
“CC didn’t really pitch that bad,” Martin said. “I don’t think he’s had much run support. His last start against Boston, I thought he threw the ball really well. He doesn’t have the same velocity he had a few years ago, but he’s still pitching, he still has a lot of weapons for you, it’s not an easy at-bat. We got to him a little bit but not a whole lot.”
The Yankees have been able to find those silver linings in all but one Sabathia start this season, yet here he sits, at 0-5, acknowledging that he needs to be better.
“Today was just one of those days where they were making good contact and putting some swings on some pretty good pitches,” he said. “That’s just kind of me now. I have to navigate out of those situations.”
• Brett Gardner said he was ready and available to play tonight. He hopes to be in the lineup tomorrow. “I was ready to go in the game later and play or run if they needed me to or whatever,” he said. “Hopefully feel better tomorrow and I’ll be in the lineup.”
• Welcome back to the big leagues Jose Pirela. The second baseman went 2-for-4 with a hustle double in his first at-bat. he’s now recorded multiple hits in four of his eight big league games.
• That third-inning double was immediately followed by a base-running blunder when Pirela made a bad read on a ball to the left side and was out between second and third. “Just a bad read on his part,” Girardi said. “Then he’s got to stay in the run down, try to at least get (Jacoby Ellsbury) to second.”
• This was only Mark Buehrle’s second career win in 22 starts against the Yankees. “Probably a statistical anomaly,” Mark Teixeira said. “Weird things happen in baseball and you can find them all over the place. That’s a really good pitcher and he’s been a really good pitcher his entire career. Those kinds of things just happen.”
• Buehrle on getting his first win against the Yankees since 2004: “It’s not like every time I’ve gone out there I’ve gotten my butt handed to me. There’s been some games I’ve pitched good against them and it just didn’t’ work out. I came into today just like a normal start. Whether I threw a nine inning complete game last game or got my butt handed to me like I did, I come in, treat it the exact same way and try to go out and get guys out. Same thing with next start. Just because I beat them don’t mean I’m going to do anything different in between this start. I’m gonna go get ready for my next one and see what happens.”
• The Yankees went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position today. “We just didn’t get it done,” Girardi said. “There are going to be nights when it happens. Really, that’s the difference in the ballgame. We didn’t get the hits when the runners were on, and they did.”
• Biggest RISP at-bat was Mark Teixeira’s base-loaded ground ball to end the fifth inning. That was Buehrle’s last hitter, and I really thought that would be when he lost the game. “You have to be aggressive there,” Teixeira said. “You want to try to get something up in the zone, which I did. But he keeps you off-balance, so I was just out in front of it.”
• Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to nine games after a little bloop single in the fifth.
• Recent Blue Jays call up Chris Colabello had four hits tonight. He had multiple hits last night too. “He’s hot, and it’s the reason they brought him up,” Girardi said. “He was swinging the bat well in Triple-A, and they brought him up, and he’s continued to do it here. We made some mistakes on him, we haven’t got the ball exactly where we want. Sometimes that happens too. He’s been up before, and he’s put up good months before, and we just didn’t get him out.”
• Weird moment in the eighth inning when a large group of fans — a dozen or more, it seemed — began shining bright lights toward home plate from left-center field. It was in the middle of a Brian McCann at-bat, and Girardi came out of the dugout. Play stopped for only a moment, but apparently McCann said it wasn’t bothering him. “I didn’t know if it was bothering Mac, and I was at least going to ask him to find out,” Girardi said. “It’s dangerous too. In a situation like that, if Mac doesn’t pick up a ball that’s inside and he gets hit, I’m going to be fairly upset. But the lights weren’t bothering him, so we just kept it going. But it should be something that’s handled. That shouldn’t happen.”
• Final word goes to Girardi: “CC’s a professional and he knows you have to go out and just take care of that start and only that start. Is it frustrating? I’m sure it is. But like I said, he’s been through tough times before, and there have been times when he’s had tough loses. He seems to bounce back.”
Associated Press photos