CC Sabathia expects big things of himself, and he seemed to expect most of the blame for tonight’s Opening Day loss to the Red Sox. The Yankees had a four-run lead with their ace on the mound, but it fell apart in the second half.
“I think I had good stuff, I just nibbled too much,” Sabathia said. “Early in the game I was still strike one, right there. Later in the game I’m trying to throw down and away and I’m missing down. I just think I nibbled a little too much and got behind and got in hitters counts. It’s a tough lineup to try to pitch to when you’re in hitters counts.”
Much was made of the Red Sox concentration on defense this winter, but this is certainly not a bad lineup. Sabathia said both Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro had singles off changeups in the fifth inning. He said the Red Sox were patient, forcing him to throw strikes in good hitters counts. Sabathia tried to walk a line between being aggressive and fooling hitters with his stuff.
“It’s a fine line and today I definitely screwed it up,” Sabathia said. “Just trying to make pitches and try to trick the guys instead of just coming right after them with a four run lead.”
Obviously a lot of the blame has to fall on the bullpen. Not a single reliever got through the game without allowing a run to score, but Joe Girardi said he couldn’t make too big of a deal out of one bad game. “Even if they’d thrown all zeros, we can’t make too much of it,” he said. Bottom line, the Yankees seem to have this game won when they were up four runs with their ace on the mound.
“Something about this field, it always seems like the game’s not over with,” Derek Jeter said. “They battled. They were down 5-1, CC was rolling along, and then their bats woke up.”
Here’s the Sabathia audio. It’s a little noisy in the beginning but gets better.