Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Now that's more like it

For the moment everything seems okay for CC and runs helped him along

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK, AUGUST 14- It seems like an eternity since the last time CC Sabathia had an easy time on the mound. The New York Yankees left hander has struggled for the most part this season, and his start Tuesday night in the Bronx was deemed important. If the Yankees want to make a run at another post season, Sabathia has to be effective.

He had not won a game since July 3rd at Minnesota, and went 0-4 with a 7.00 ERA in six starts since that game. To say, the least Sabathia had to be pleased Tuesday night when the Yankees gave him some early run support.

The Yankees 14-7 win over the Angels Tuesday night saw Sabathia toss 6.0 innings, striking out seven, walking a season high six and giving up two runs. One run was a home run ball to Mark Trumbo with two outs in the first inning. It was the 25th home run Sabathia has thrown this year.

Overall, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was satisfied. And for the second consecutive night he got good pitching from a starter, as the night before the always reliable Hiroki Kuroda went eight innings as New York took the first of the four-game series over the Angels.

“CC was excellent,” commented Girardi. “His fastball command was good. I was very pleased what CC did tonight.” The changeup and command was also where Sabathia wanted it to go and that has been rare. He had lost each of his last three starts at home since July 9th.

“I felt like I had pretty good stuff,” said Sabathia (10-10) who had his struggles with the Angels, but was able to battle in tough situations. It was still not a dominating outing for Sabathia, though a vast improvement over what has been seen in his last seven starts.

The two earned runs and seven strikeouts marked his fewest earned runs and most strikeouts since that last win in Minnesota.

He added, “I was able to pick these guys up today. I felt like during the year I haven’t been able to make pitches to eliminate some of the errors so I was able to do that tonight. It felt good just to be able to battle. Have some stuff go wrong and still be able to make pitches and get out of situations.”

He walked in a run in the third inning, a pitch that was close when the Angels loaded the bases off two Yankees errors. He struck out the always dangerous Josh Hamilton swinging with two runners on, and the curve on that pitch had the velocity he was looking for. Then he got out of the inning retiring Erick Aybar.

More importantly, what Sabathia was able to do, was what the Yankees have been looking for. Getting the run support also helped as the last time Sabathia was staked to a big lead was at Detroit April 7th, when he shut out the Tigers 7-0.

The Yankees have won three straight games. Girardi said Sunday, after the Yankees took two of three from the Tigers that it would take 35 wins to make the post season.

And to do that, a magnificent run would require Sabathia to give his team quality starts. Tuesday night, there was optimism that the old CC Sabathia may be on the way back.

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