Needing a win to avoid a four-game series sweep, the Yankees turn to their ace this afternoon in Oakland.
“Especially after we’ve lost three tough games in a row, it’s nice to have him on the mound for us,” Joe Girardi said. “We’ll try to come out with a win today. Extremely pleased with how he pitched the last time, and hopefully it carries over.”
CC Sabathia grew up not far from here, but the Coliseum hasn’t exactly been a second home during his professional career. He has a 5.13 ERA in this stadium, easily his worst ERA at any stadium where he’s made at least 10 starts.
That said, this will be Sabathia’s second start back from the disabled list, and last time out he delivered six scoreless innings.
“The location of his fastball down and away to right-handers is really important,” Girardi said. “And I think his changeup can become really important too.”
• Nick Swisher’s strained hip flexor is feeling better today, but it now seems the Yankees are going to stay away from him through the rest of this road trip. “He said he wasn’t as stiff today as he was yesterday,” Girardi said. “He’s still day-to-day. My guess is we won’t have him in Seattle and hope to get him after that. We’ll just have to see. Let’s see how he feels.”
• Why wait until after the Seattle series? “With the off-day (Thursday) it buys you an extra day,” Girardi said. “And Tuesday night, Wednesday’s a quick turnaround. It’s not something we talk about where you want it to become a lot more than it is just because you’re rushing back. See how he’s feeling.”
• Joba Chamberlain will make his next rehab appearance on Tuesday, but Girardi said he’s not sure whether Chamberlain will also pitch on Wednesday. “At some point we’ll have plans for him to go back-to-back,” Girardi said. “You got to see how he feels that second day, though. Similar what you do with someone in spring training.”
• Routine day off for Derek Jeter, even with the team riding a three-game losing streak. “I think you have to be able to rule out the circumstances and make sure your guys stay healthy,” Girardi said. “It was hot playing at home. We had a hot week. We came out here, we had a long flight. He’s played three days in a row out here. I’ve only DHed him once in a long time, and he played in the All-Star Game. I just thought, if we’re going to give him a day, today was probably the day.”
• Girardi said, if the need presents itself, he’s more than willing to pitch around Yoenis Cespedes today. “CC’s been able to watch him the past three games, so he knows he’s swinging the bat well,” Girardi said.
Associated Press photos