The Yankees offense stumbled through Texas. Nick Swisher is day-to-day at best, Brett Gardner is heading for an MRI tube and throughout the Rangers series the Yankees were either leaving too many runners on base or not getting enough base runners in the first place.
It won’t get any easier tonight against Cy Young candidate David Price, but the Yankees have the guy they want taking the mound.
“Just try to treat it like anything else,” CC Sabathia said. “We all know, every game for us right now is big.”
This kind of series isn’t supposed to be easy. The Yankees and Rays have been the best teams in baseball, and they’re playing for first place in the game’s toughest division. Tonight, they’re throwing their aces in Game 1.
Sabathia is 1-1 against the Rays this season. Through three starts he has a 2.53 ERA against the Rays, but that number dips to 1.88 at Tropicana Field. He’d won six straight starts before an uncharacteristically rocky outing against Baltimore on Tuesday.
Like Sabathia, Price is 1-1 against the Yankees. He’s made two starts against them: A strong seven-inning win at the Trop and a rough five-inning loss in the Bronx. The Rays have won seven of his past nine starts, and he’s won two straight allowing six hits in his past 14 innings against Boston and Toronto.
“You’ve got to embrace it,” Sabathia said. “I’m not facing (Price). I’m facing their lineup, so I’ll go out and just try to put up zeros. I know he’s going to do the best he can, so we’ll just have to see what happens.”
Associated Press photo