Between every inning CC Sabathia pitches, he drinks a cup of Gatorade and a bottle of water. That’s the case regardless of the weather, which led to an obvious question after tonight’s game. How many times does the big guy pee in the course of a game?
“A lot,” he said, and he was laughing.
Tonight in Kansas City, the heat index at first pitch was 106 degrees. The Royals pulled their center fielder after four innings because of heat exhaustion, and Joe Girardi pulled Nick Swisher in the ninth because he was worried Swisher was on the verge of cramping.
Sabathia said he began hydrating yesterday in preparation for this start. Between innings, he sat beneath the stands with a fan blowing, and of course he was drinking a ton of liquids. With two outs in the ninth, Girardi didn’t like the matchup of Sabathia against Willie Bloomquist — he’s a career .357 hitter against Sabathia and already had two hits — but he also didn’t like the big man laboring any longer.
“We don’t want to wear this big guy down,” Girardi said. “… It’s a tough call, but that’s what I get paid to do.”
Sabathia said he likes pitching in the heat. He feels like he gets loose easier, doesn’t have to work as hard to throw hard. He said he could have stayed in the game, but he also said he worn out when it was over.
“That’s Joe’s job to judge when I’m done,” he said. “And I think he did a good job.”
Here’s Sabathia after the game.
And here’s Dave Robertson.
• Mariano Rivera was not available tonight, but Robertson didn’t know that until he was told to get lose in the eighth inning. Obviously the ninth didn’t go as smoothly as he would have liked, but he picked up his second career save when he struck out Jason Kendall to strand the tying run at third. “That’s the hardest out I’ve had to get in a long time,” he said.
• For the first time in his career, Sabathia has 15 wins through 25 starts. Is he thinking about 20 wins? “I try to stay away form personal goals to be honest,” he said. “I’d rather win a World Series than win 20 games and win a Cy Young.”
• Curtis Granderson’s new swing was very effective tonight. He had two hits, a walk and an RBI. “I just felt comfortable,” he said. “I felt like I was able to see the ball. Felt like I wasn’t up there contemplating too much where I was at or where I was standing. Those are good baby steps.”
• Chad Guadin was getting loose in the ninth inning, but Girardi said that was strictly for Gaudin to get some work. The game was Robertson’s no matter what.
• If Rivera were available, Girardi said he “probably” would have started the ninth inning.
• Girardi said he had no plans of pulling Swisher until he noticed him laboring late in the game. “He just looked like he was exhausted,” Girardi said.
• Before being pulled, Swisher had three hits for the 12th time this season.
Associated Press photos of Sabathia and Robertson with Francisco Cervelli