How long did it take you to find out Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch during Tuesday’s All-Star Game? Were you watching when it happened? Did you see it mentioned on Twitter within a few seconds? Were you reading about it on the internet within an hour? By any chance did it take you until the next morning to see it mentioned in the paper or on SportsCenter?
Care to guess when Yankees ace CC Sabathia found out about it?
It was some 48 hours later on a flight to Boston. One of the Yankees coaches, Charlie Wonsowicz, who mentioned it.
“I was just hoping (Cano) didn’t come in here with crutches, ya know?” Sabathia said.
Sabathia spent the All-Star Break in the baseball-free bubble of St. Barths. He was with his family and an old friend from the minor leagues who played catch with him so that Sabathia could keep his arm loose and strong.
“As far as watching anything or seeing anything, it was good to get a break and not think about baseball,” Sabathia said. “… No TV, no ESPN, no nothing. I didn’t see anything about baseball. It was actually refreshing to be able to get away and relax. It was the first time I’d done that in a while. I feel good.”
Sabathia has called his first half “terrible” and has readily acknowledged that the Yankees need him to be better. His 4.07 ERA isn’t awful by most standards, but it would be his worst season ERA since 2004. The most glaring problem, Joe Girardi said, has been Sabathia’s command of his fastball and changeup, something that might be at least partially caused by a too-low arm slot.
To fix the problem, Sabathia has added a new drill.
“I spread out my legs pretty wide and just use my upper body playing catch the first couple of throws,” he said. “Just to make sure I’m getting on top and getting the arm angle. I’m hoping that’ll help me out (tonight).”
Sabathia’s first start of the second half is the final game of this weekend series in Boston. Even as they get players off the disabled list, the Yankees are going to need pitching. This roster isn’t built to win games with offense, it has to pitch well to get to the postseason. And a lot of that starts with the man who’s supposed to be the ace of the staff.
“I haven’t pitched yet,” Sabathia said. “I’m still terrible and disappointed (so far this season). … I think it’s always a lot of pressure on me, whether it’s outside or how much pressure I put on myself. I put so much pressure and want to pitch well on myself that anything outside, I kind of don’t really feel. I just feel the pressure of wanting to pitch well every time out. I’m my own worst critic. I look to be better.”
Associated Press photo