CC Sabathia’s fastball command was off. His changeup was flat. He allowed six hits and five runs to the lowly Washington Nationals, who were playing without Jayson Werth.
“I just called my wife and she started laughing,” Sabathia said.
It’s March 5, and it’s not the first time Sabathia has been knocked around in spring training.
“I’m glad (a camera crew) didn’t come down to the minor league complex last year and saw what I did,” he said. “It was way worse than today.”
Today, Sabathia said his arm felt like it was dragging. His fastball command, which had been so good in his first spring outing, was unreliable this tim. His changeup was ineffective. He couldn’t get into strikeout counts. In his words: “I just didn’t have it.”
Two years ago, when Sabathia was new to New York, an outing like this would have been tossed under the microscope. Today, the big picture is far more significant. Sabathia’s been too good the past two years to be legitimately concerned about one spring outing.
“As a competitor you don’t want to go out and give up five runs in 2.2 innings, but what can I do but keep working?” Sabathia said. “I’m not going to lose no sleep.”
By the way, you might have noticed that, since he came to the Yankees, the second spring start has never been good for Sabathia. He was roughed up by the Tigers in 2009, by the Pirates in 2010 and by the Nationals this year.
“It seems to have a pattern, doesn’t it,” Joe Girardi said. “Just have him do a simulated game in the cage (for his second start next year).”
Here’s Sabathia’s audio. The laughter at the beginning is because of the first question, a somewhat sarcastic, “So, how’d that go?”
Associated Press photo of Sabathia with Jesus Montero