CC Sabathia has not been terrible to begin the season but he hasn’t been the ace the Yankees signed years ago either. The opposing team believes Sabathia has looked better than in recent years, and even his teammates believe the weight of losing during Sabathia’s starts should fall on their shoulders since the offense has failed to score for him. But Sabathia continues to hold himself accountable for not giving his team a chance to win each time he steps on the mound.
“This is what it is.” Sabathia said following last night’s 5-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. “I’m out there trying to help the team. I’m just good enough to lose right now.”
Let’s look at what the Yankees have done this season when Sabathia takes the mound: They’re 1-5 when Sabathia starts a game and 16-6 when the rest of the pitching staff pitches. Sabathia is this year’s version of Hiroki Kuroda in the sense where the offense doesn’t contribute during his starts. Sabathia’s record is pretty tricky since he has pitched meaningful games this year, the most obvious one being the 1-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Comerica Park last month.
“CC didn’t really pitch that bad,” Sabathia’s former teammate Russell Martin, who is now with the Toronto Blue Jays, said following last night’s game. “I don’t think he’s had much run support. His last start against Boston, I thought he threw the ball really well. He doesn’t have the same velocity he had a few years ago, but he’s still pitching, he still has a lot of weapons for you, it’s not an easy at-bat. We got to him a little bit but not a whole lot.”
The Yankees have surely moved on from last night and are now looking ahead to the series against the Baltimore Orioles, but to Sabathia, an 0-5 record to begin the season doesn’t look good to him and if there’s anything he wants to accomplish, it’s to turn his game around.
“I feel healthy. I feel good,” he said. “… I feel like I should be a little better. Just a couple of pitches here and there in games that have killed me. The triple in the Baltimore game. The single. Just those little things I need to tighten up.”