Sabathia makes adjustment to dominate Braves

CC dominates as Yanks' streak hits double digits
Cashman talks Granderson and Cano, long-term
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

I didn’t see last night’s game, but based on what I’ve seen and read this morning, it sounds like CC Sabathia was on point. The box score — 9 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 13 GB, 4 FB — certainly backs that up as well. The Yankees’ tenth win in a row will obviously grab the headlines, but Sabathia’s best start of the season (by Game Score) is the more important development.

“Through his, what we would call struggles — most guys would probably be happy with what he’s doing — he hasn’t had a consistent sinker, and I thought tonight it’s been as consistent as its been,” said Joe Girardi after the game. “I could sense he was a little bit frustrated. It’s a great start for him.”

Sabathia’s season-long problem had been his fastball command, which he seemed to fight start after start. He’s been behind in the count to 126 of the 427 batters he’s faced this season, a 29.5% rate that is a bit worse than last year’s (28.7%). The AL average is 34.9%, keep in mind. Sabathia’s thrown a first pitch strike 62.1% of the time in 2012, 16th best out of 49 qualified AL starters. The long counts have hurt him a bit. He’s been off just a touch, nothing major.

Prior to last night’s game, pitching coach Larry Rothschild indicated that CC had picked up a mechanical flaw during a video session and would correct it going forward. “He can see it, what he needs to do,” said Rothschild. “It’s not like he hasn’t done it. It just has to be consistent.” Sabathia simply described the problem as “(just) not getting through my front side and finishing pitches,” whatever that means in PitcherSpeak.

The Yankees have won ten straight and 20 of 24 largely on the strength of their pitching staff, which has allowed just 2.79 runs per game during the stretch. Sabathia hasn’t been pitching terribly — 3.55 ERA with a 3.21 FIP in 101.1 IP this year — he just hasn’t been especially sharp. He had still been pitching deep into games — 7+ innings in 11 of his last 12 starts — but wasn’t overly dominating. The rest of the staff really picked things up and if last night’ outing was any indication, Sabathia is about to do the same as well.

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CC dominates as Yanks' streak hits double digits
Cashman talks Granderson and Cano, long-term
  • AndrewYF

    When was the last time the Yankees had a month of pitching this good? I had to go back to August of ’78 to find something that even approaches what they’ve done. Kind of amazing, but then you have to consider that the Yankees have never been a pitching-first team.

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    He’s been nibbling unsuccessfully on the outside corner all year and falling behind. Enough already. Bust ‘em inside, big man!

    • Havok9120

      Throwing your fastball inside when you’ve had zero command of it tends to go very poorly.

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    Btw, this DJ4K stuff is looking less and less crazy.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      If he stays near career norms in hits for the remainder of this contract, he’d be over 3500 hits, somewhere around 3550. He’d need another 3-4 years to reach 4k. While I’d love to have a Yankee (especially Jeter) atop the all-time hits list, I think even reaching 4k will be a stretch. So, I’m willing to accept Top 5 all-time. Go get ‘em Derek!

    • Steve (different one)

      No, it still looks crazy.

    • eephus_pitch

      The last 500 hits would all be infield dribblers. That sounds painful to watch. I’ll settle for 3500-3600.

      • TomH

        I’d settle for that too.

        Jeter would probably be staggering by the time of a run-up to 4000. It’s hard to imagine a cost-conscious NYY ownership willing to pay him what he would probably like.

        3500-3600? Nothing bad about that. Hell, that’s Stan Musial territory, where a guy who, while not Stan’s equal as a hitter–.331 BA, 3630 hits, 725 doubles, 177 triples, 475 Hrs, 1949 Runs, 1951 RB1 and an OBP of .417–can still retire full of glory.

  • Hugh

    Now that CC is back towards his best, I see no reason we should ever lose another game.

  • Frank

    Honestly, I’m more encouraged by the clutch hitting of Martin and Jeter last night with RISP than CC’s nice game. This team’s offense has been stagnant all season despite the current winning steak. HRs are nice, but this team needs to hit with RISP. As for CC, the fact of the mattter is he hasn’t pitched all that great this season, despite his record, and he needed to step it up. Last night was a good start. Let’s see if he can go on a roll and keep it going. I’m certainly looking forward to this Saturday’s match up with Dickey.

    • Frank

      Actually, I think the match up is Sunday- I forgot the Yanks are off Thursday.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Too many Home Runs!

      It was great to see CC apparently back on his game last night. Let’s hope this is the start of his typical summer dominance.

    • CountryClub

      There’s a thought out there that the Mets may adjust their rotation because of their off day Thursday. They could have Dickey pitch Sat and then Johan Sunday. If they don’t skip anyone, Johan will miss the Yanks.

      • Steve (different one)

        Heard on the radio they will stay on rotation.

        My guess is they are worried Santana gets crushed again.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      HRs are nice

      Not only are HRs nice, they are the best possible outcome of an AB.

      The Yankees win, in part, because they hit a crap load of HRs. If they didn’t, the RISP fail would be more problematic.

      So I say keep mashing. The RISP problem will eventually correct itself, and in fact, would be a much bigger problem if they weren’t hitting so damn many HRs.

      • Havok9120

        This.

      • eephus_pitch

        You just wait until the Polar Caps melt, then we’ll see where you are.

  • Athenian

    Andrew Marchand has his write up on the Yankees game last night. Two paragraphs stick out that sum up the Yankees right now.

    “Sabathia had given the Yankees a lot of length this season — going into Monday he lasted seven or more innings in 10 of his 13 starts — but not much dominance. But against the Braves, he had his third 10-strikeout game of the season.”

    last paragraph – “So the Yankees are on a winning streak that Babe’s teams or the Mick’s teams or Torre’s teams never had. They are crushing above-.500 clubs, day in and day out.

    And they are still not satisfied.”

    • Cris Pengiucci

      I heard that CC gave length to his wife all off-season. Now he’s giving it to the Yankees …. And they’re still not satisfied! :-)

      • Will (the other one)

        C’mon, bro! Some things you can’t unsee!

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      I think Marchand means that HE will never be satisfied….or any writer at ESPN-NY.

    • TomH

      last paragraph – “So the Yankees are on a winning streak that Babe’s teams or the Mick’s teams or Torre’s teams never had. They are crushing above-.500 clubs, day in and day out.

      If he means that Mantle’s teams never had a 10-game winning streak, he’s wrong. In 1953, as a kid, I followed them through an 18-game streak, one below their 1947 team record.

  • ahinds

    what was really interesting to me was that cc does not normally watch video of his starts. i thought that was ridiculous. but then again he’s had a most outstanding career to this point. but with cc i always feel like he can do better: he’s averaged almost 20 win and 200 strikeouts with a 1.2 whip and a 3.20 era, but watching him you get the feeling that he should do better somehow. i also know he is the greatest yankee starter pitcher i have ever seen and by a good amount too and mussina would be second on that list and maybe wang 2 years and pettitte

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

      Ron Guidry. 25-3 with all kinds of ridiculous stats.

      Best season I’ve ever seen by a Yankee starter.

      • Manny’s BanWagon

        I just watched Guidry’s 18K game against the Angels on YES the other day. He was just filthy when he was in his prime.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Good times, good times!

  • yooboo

    I challenge Yanks to reach 20 mark. Sabby vs Dickey this weekend and dealing with Indians and White Sox are thrilling.

    Off topic, Clemens among Piazza, Schilling, Sosa, Biggio and Bonds for 2013 HOF ballot. It is safe to call Biggio and Piazza as 2013 HOF inductees. Imagine the image where Clemens and Piazza stand/sit on the stage in front of people in Cooperstown if they are in. LOL.

    • Kel

      Piazza shouldn’t be safe either. There were plenty of rumors about him. Remember the back acne? I see him as no different as Clemens. A guy who never tested positive, but most suspect was on something.

      Anyone from that era is going to be suspected. Including Biggio who bulked up at one point.

      Sosa and Bonds are a different story.

      • Manny’s BanWagon

        If Bagwell didn’t get in the last 2 years because of suspicion over the use of PEDs then no way will Piazza get in on his first ballot.

      • eephus_pitch

        With Piazza it’s never been anything but rumors and innuendo, though. Nothing compared to what they have against Bonds and Clemens.
        I think Piazza gets in, no problem.