I’ll admit it; it was extremely tough watching CC Sabathia allow six runs in the first inning of a 10-2 loss against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon.
But just as easy as it would be to blame Sabathia, we shouldn’t place all the blame on him.
It didn’t help that the Yankees defense made five errors during the game. It also didn’t help the offense couldn’t put runs on the board. Sabathia unraveled, but the defense placed him in the position to.
“Those [innings] make or break games, whether in spring or up north [in The Bronx],” Sabathia said after his poor start. “… I need to do a better job of not letting it unravel.”
Even in an exhibition game, Sabathia ended up being the scapegoat for an ugly loss. Yes, he needed to make his pitches to get out of the inning. But it’s better Sabathia is rusty now than when the games count in April.
Sabathia was more than ready to place the blame on himself, but manager Joe Girardi believed it was a group effort as to why the team was demolished by the Braves B-Squad.
“As good as we’ve been all spring, we weren’t too good today,” Girardi said. “It’s one of those days, it seemed like every ground ball we possibly could have caught, we didn’t make the play. CC kept working and kept working.”
If there was one thing that encouraged Girardi, it was Sabathia’s knee held up quite well. The Yankees had been bringing Sabathia along slowly because he underwent minor surgery over the offseason. Sabathia was able to throw a bullpen after his ugly start and is now anticipating his next Spring outing.
“I went down to the bullpen [afterwards] and felt good,” Sabathia said. “I’ll be ready in time to go again. … Everything feels good. My body feels good and I was letting some [pitches] go. No problems.”
All Sabathia can do is look ahead and try to forget that ugly Spring outing ever happened.