Off the mound, through the infield and into the Yankees dugout, CC Sabathia was screaming. Then he flung his glove against the wall. And somewhere in that outburst of overwhelming emotion … nothing else happened. Just another moment of frustration in this Yankees season of disappointment.
“I feel like I’m wasting starts,” Sabathia said. “I’m feeling great and throwing the ball good. I’ve just not been able to put together a whole start. It’s just frustrating.”
The slider to Nate McLouth was a bad pitch. The changeup to Manny Machado might not have been quite as bad — “You could tell he was sitting on it the whole time,” Chris Stewart said — but it was certainly another mistake. Those were really the only hard-hit balls Sabathia allowed, but these days, two big hits mean trouble. Sabathia was given a 3-0 lead, and it’s hard to ask much more of this offense. He couldn’t hold it.
But it’s also hard to overlook the fact the Yankees scattered four hits, all singles, through the final six innings. The offense came roaring out of the gate, then went down with a whimper. And David Adams, playing first base to add another right-handed bat against a lefty, made a costly mistake when he misread a slow roller, opening the door to a three-run sixth.
A miscue of inexperience by an out-of-position rookie. An offense that couldn’t maintain momentum. Two mistake pitches by a guy who had a no-hitter through five. The margin for error is very thin these days, and so frustration can boil over at any moment. It did tonight.
“We talked about, this is going to be a year where pitching is going to be extremely important,” Joe Girardi said. “It is. You can’t expect your ace to go throw a shutout every time. At times we have to score some runs. … We’ve probably been a part of some (loses) that were worse, I’m sure. During the course of 162 games, you’re going to lose some tough games, but (Sabathia’s) stuff was really good tonight and he was rolling along.”
• Sabathia blamed himself in every which way during a postgame interview, but so did Adams. “As soon as I’m running to the ball, I’m like, oh, I messed up,” he said. “… Honestly, any situation like that, there’s no one else to get to the bag. Cano’s up the middle, CC, his job is to go get the ball. There’s no one else to be on the bag. I’ve got to get to the bag.”
• Girardi did his best to back his rookie infielder. “It’s a tough read,” Girardi said. “You see the ball hit that way. He’s coming off the bag. In hindsight he probably would have liked to have stayed there, but it’s a ground ball and he kind of went after it. … Could have been (lack of experience), but I’m not so sure most first basemen aren’t going to go after it.”
• The Yankees actually hit T.J. McFarland pretty well. Vernon Wells had an RBI single; Adams drew a walk; Robinson Cano had a couple of hits; Brett Gardner started the game with his double. The rest of the game: Three singles, each in a different inning. Kevin Gausman went 4.1 scoreless. “We had some opportunities and weren’t able to do it,” Girardi said. “Gausman came in and threw the ball extremely well. You can tell the kid is extremely talented. But we had some early opportunities. I think we had seven or eight hits in the first three innings and were only able to get three runs.”
• What made Sabathia so good early? “I thought he mixed his pitches,” Girardi said. “I thought he was locating. He gave up two hard-hit balls and gave up two runs in that inning. That’s the tough part about it. It’s different if he gives up four or five hard-hit balls, but he gave up two, and some really well-placed balls and they did it at the right time and it worked out for them.”
• Stewart on the pitch to Machado: “I wanted it down a little more, but even if it was down, I don’t know if it would have made much of a difference. You could tell he was sitting on it the whole time. He let the fastballs inside go, not even offering at them. He made a good decision and was able to hit it.”
• Stewart on the home run pitch to McLouth: “The slider didn’t really slide all that much. He kind of left it over the plate. He’s a decent breaking ball hitter, he was able to get the barrel on the ball and hit one out.”
• Cano went 3-for-4 and is now a .362 hitter in 70 career games at Camden Yards. He also passed Frank Crosetti for 19th place on the Yankees all-time hits list. He now has 1,543.
• This was Sabathia’s 400th career start. He passed Jack Chesbro for 14th place on the Yankees all-time strikeouts list. He has 918 Ks as a Yankee.
• Random fact from the Orioles: This was Gausman’s first big league win, and it came in a game started by McFarland. On June 13, McFarland got his first big league win in a game started by Gausman. So, you know, there’s that. … Also, Manny Machado has 37 doubles, which is the second-most through the end of June since 1921 (Edgar Martinez had 39 in 1996). Obviously Machado has a couple of games to get there.
• Final word goes to Sabathia: “It’s super frustrating. We’ve been battling and scuffling all year, dealing with injuries and everything. For us to come out here and put up three against a tough team and not be able to hold it late in the game is extremely frustrating. I have to get better. … Like I said, not being able to hold the lead. Then you’re ultimately giving up the lead and giving up the game. It’s frustrating. I try not to show my emotions too much, but it happens.”
Associated Press photos