One bad inning dooms Sabathia, Yankees in 4-2 loss to Red Sox


Source: FanGraphs

That damn sixth inning. If they handed out wins and losses for individual innings, the Yankees would have went 8-1 on Friday night. They were the better team in every inning but the sixth. Sucks letting a game get away like that. Let’s recap the 4-2 loss to the Red Sox, bullet points style:

  • One Bad Inning: For the second straight start, CC Sabathia cruised through five excellent innings before the wheels came off in the sixth. He was dominant innings one through five (one hit, two walks, six strikeouts) before two homers led to four runs in the sixth. Jonny Gomes hit a solo shot, then Grady Sizemore golfed a three-run shot on a slider that missed its spot by about two feet. Between the homers, David Ortiz had a check swing single and Mike Napoli slapped a single in a 3-0 count. Sabathia threw a perfect seventh inning after that. Nine strikeouts and 19 swings and misses in seven innings is awesome. Having things unravel in the sixth inning two starts in a row? Not awesome. Here’s the PitchFX breakdown from Brooks Baseball.
  • Two Runs Ain’t Enough: You and I have seen enough Yankees-Red Sox games over the years to know two runs usually aren’t enough to win. Not even in these offense-starved days. Alfonso Soriano got the Yankees on the board with a solo homer in the second, then Kelly Johnson singled in a run in the seventh. He had a real good at-bat against a tough lefty in Jon Lester. Derek Jeter (fly out) and pinch-hitter Brian McCann (strikeout) wasted opportunities in the eighth and ninth, respectively. They ended innings with the tying run on base or at the plate, again respectively.
  • Dealin’ Dellin: Dellin Betances struck out all three men he faced in the ninth inning and was just dominant. The good version showed up. Dr. Dellin, not Mr. Betances. Cesar Cabral walked the only man he faced on four pitches — it was Ortiz, but come on man — while Adam Warren allowed a hit in an otherwise uneventful and scoreless inning. Another good day for the David Robertson-less relief crew.
  • Leftovers: Jacoby Ellsbury, Soriano, and Ichiro Suzuki were the only Yankees to reach base twice. Ellsbury went 1-for-3 with a walk while the other two went 2-for-4 … Jeter and Johnson singled while Brian Roberts walked … Carlos Beltran, Frankie Cervelli, and Yangervis Solarte were all hitless. Solarte is hitless in his last nine at-bats and 1-for-11 in his last three games. Is it a slump, or is the magic starting to fade? … Ellsbury stole his fifth base and is the first Yankee to steal five bases in April since Gardner in 2010.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. We’re only two weeks into the season, but all five AL East teams are separated by one game. I expect the race to be crazy tight all summer. The Yankees will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound on Saturday afternoon in the third game of this four-game series. He’ll be opposed by John Lackey. RAB Tickets can get you in the door if you want to catch the matinee.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Nathan says:

    Anyone else think that a big part of CC’s problems have to now be mental? Seems like when he’s rolling, he’s rolling but he can’t limit the damage during a bad inning and things get away from him.

    • jjyank says:

      I don’t think that at all. CC’s been in the league for so long and has pitched in plenty of big games. I highly doubt he’s getting rattled when he gets in trouble.

      I think he’s just trying to iron out how to pitch with reduced velocity. And it seems like he is learning, but is still making a couple of mistakes. Disclaimer: I did not watch the game tonight, as I was working. But from the highlights I’ve seen and the comments I’ve read, it sounds like the pitch to Sizemore wasn’t even that bad either. Sometimes, shit happens.

      I’m still concerned about CC, but he does seem to be making some progress here. I just can’t think a guy as seasoned as him has problems mentally. I feel like he’s just too battle tested for that. Also that sample size of “when he’s rolling, he’s rolling but he can’t limit the damage during a bad inning and things get away from him” is only two starts. I’m not drawing any conclusions about mental toughness based on that.

      • forensic says:

        It made Sabathia angry. He lost his focus and he lost the game.

        “Usually I’m able to stay even keel and not let that get to me, not let that frustrate me,” Sabathia said. “Next thing I know, it’s 3-0 on Napoli before I even calmed down. That’s something that I did when I was in my 20s and younger. I have to get better.”

        “I was just frustrated,” Sabathia said. “I kind of rushed through and left the pitch hanging.”

        Via Lohud.

        P.S.: I hate when Brian Heyman is handling the blog. You get so little info compared to when Chad or Vin are doing it.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Not at all. He simply needs to focus much more on his control now that his stuff is a bit diminished, and the moments where he loses that aren’t good.

  2. lee says:

    i thought CC looked pretty dang good, and saying that the “wheels came off” in the sixth is a tad over the top. that pitch to Sizemore wasn’t all that bad — it was at the knees and on the inside corner — and the reality is that Sizemore is just hitting everything right now (.994 OPS). take away that one at bat and CC and the Yanks win this one, 2-1.

    if CC can continue to pitch like this, i’ll be happy.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      You can’t take away one at-bat. Most games are lost because of one or two big hits, and CC’s got a penchant giving up biggies.

      • lee says:

        i understand that. but the reality is that not every “big hit” is the fault of the pitcher. a lot of times you have to give credit to the hitter. and no, most games are not lost because of one or two big hits — more than half of games are decided by 3 or more runs. games where a starting pitcher doesn’t give up at least one “big hit” are a rarity.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

          That pitch got a bit too much of the plate. It wasn’t a good pitch.

          • lee says:

            i didn’t say it was a good pitch — just that it wasn’t a bad pitch. it was on the inner third of the plate, 6″ off the middle of the plate. if that’s a bad pitch, then i’m guessing the majority of pitches thrown meet that criteria.

    • Looser Trader Droids Kenobi FotD™ says:

      “take away that one at bat and CC and the Yanks win this one”

      I recall reading this kind of selective analysis quite a bit for Hughes. If only we took away that one start, or that one inning, or one AB, or one pitch, his performance would be awesome!

      Not comparing the two (yet) but you simply can’t do this. He let it get away from him, and the quote on LoHud demonstrates where he’s at mentally, and it doesn’t sound like a good place.

      • lee says:

        that wasn’t my point. so far this season CC has an xFIP of 2.38. if he’s close to that in Sept i’ll be very happy. i just don’t get all this beating up on CC — overall he’s pitching pretty good.

  3. BigBlueAL says:

    Eventually the Yankees are going to need to get a real 3b and make Kelly Johnson the everyday 2b. Tex coming back and being somewhat decent would help too.

  4. Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

    McCann’t hit AL pitching .162/.184/.346

    • forensic says:

      .303/.367/.535 against AL pitching during interleague play in his career.

      • jjyank says:

        Because who cares about facts when we can just use a week and a half of a sample size in April instead?

        I’ve always thought that the league differences hurt pitchers more. Since they have to face a DH instead of a hitter, and line ups are generally constructed differently. But is AL pitching any different or any better than NL pitching, talent wise? I don’t see why that would be the case. He’s hit plenty well against NL pitching and AL pitching in his career.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      He’s spent the last few years in the same division as Cliff Lee, Hamels, Halladay, Matt Harvey, Strasburg, Gio, Zimmermann, Jose Fernandez, good Josh Johnson, good Johan, etc. I think he’ll be just fine.

    • LK says:

      Allen Craig’s hit 2014 pitching .088/.135/.088
      Dustin Pedroia’s hit 2014 pitching .240/.240/.280

      It’s not been good so far, but there’s no reason to panic yet.

    • Dave Guarnieri says:

      Please……he’ll break out of it. The misconception was that he was going to hit 35-40′s HR’s due to the short porch.

      I think he’ll hit his usual 25, maybe 30 with the short porch when the weather gets warmer. I think he is a little pull-happy right now.

  5. Mike says:

    I consider this a bounce-back game for CC. Take away 1 bad inning and he was flawless.

  6. mustang says:

    McCann is killing them and Tex can’t get back soon enough for me they need a big bat in the worse way.

    CC is a 4th or 5th starter right now depending on which Nova shows up. CC will give them length with an A game here and there, but if they don’t score enough in his others games they won’t survive the one or two “bad” innings.

    Not happy with the result thus far, but still like what I see going forward.

    • Dave Guarnieri says:

      You are putting a lot of unearned value on Tex. He is not the guy he was 3 years ago.

    • Dave Guarnieri says:

      Tex can’t get back fast enough for what? He can’t stay on the field and when he is he has been bad. He is not the same player he was 3 years ago, and he’ll be the first one to say it, which is troubling.

  7. pat says:

    Dellin’s appearance was a bit of fools gold, IMO. His stuff is undeniably nasty, but he was missing spots like crazy.McCann just started setting up middle middle calling for a pitch and catching it wherever it crossed the plate. In his defense, the pitch to K JBJr was perfect so he wasn’t completely lost, but I think he’s gonna be the bullpen version of AJ Burnett where you can tell within 2 pitches which version you’re going to get.

  8. Gonzo says:

    Where have you gone Yangervis our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

  9. LK says:

    “Solarte is hitless in his last nine at-bats and 1-for-11 in his last three games. Is it a slump, or is the magic starting to fade?”

    I think every single one of us knows the answer to this question; the only question is whether or not we’re willing to admit it.

    There were encouraging aspects to CC’s start, but the issue for the past year+ has been homers, and the issue tonight was homers. I keep thinking his homer rate has to regress, but at some point it actually has to or we need to stop expecting it. I’m not advocating pulling him from the rotation or anything, but thing are starting to approach “put up or shut up” time, so to speak.

    • TWTR says:

      In the post game, Jack Curry said the Yankees need CC to be an ace. He must be high. If he is a #3, they will be getting all that they can reasonably expect. If he is somehow better than that as he learns to make adjustments, they’re golden.

    • Dave Guarnieri says:

      Solarte: Slip sliden away.

  10. W.B. Mason Williams says:

    The umpire’s zone was all over the place tonight, and from what I remember it favored the Red Sox on several K’s.

    This actually looked like a step forward for CC. He was hitting his spots more often than not. He just needs to keep focusing when he starts getting tired. All the same, it wasn’t an atrocious performance. Good peripherals.

    McCann is really noticeably killing rallies early in the season. When he gets clickin, this lineup should really bop.

    I watched the game at a bar on MLB TV, so I got the NESN broadcast. What a low class program.

    They asked the question “What was the most infamous moment in Yankee Stadium?”

    A) The Pine Tar Game (Hilarious and a great piece of history, plus I love Billy)

    B) The Clemens-Piazza Incident

    C) The fan catching Jeter’s HR over Maier

    D) Some game in ’66 when apparently the Yankees set the record for lowest attended game.

    Some great moments in baseball, plus a nasty little statistic they dredged up just to insult the team, even though it’s not even true. Really classy move there guys. Since all of these happened before 2004, I doubt any of the people that voted even know what they are.

  11. TWTR says:

    They may need to add a bat.

    • Kosmo says:

      Headley is the only player I can think of who could help the Yanks given what the 25-man roster looks like. He plays very good D and if he regains his stroke a good bat.
      San Diego isn´t going anywhere and it´s less likely with each passing day SD will extend Headley. If he´s hitting around .250 as the trade deadline approaches SD will not get much for him and would lose a draft pick. I doubt they would want Headley to take a QO which is estimated to be around 15 mil this coming offseason.
      It might be in their interest to trade him sooner than later for 2-3 reasonably good prospects.
      San Diego could then move Gyorko to 3B and let Amarista and Spangenburg take over at 2B.

      • TWTR says:

        Headley would be great at the right price, but an upgrade at 2B works as well. That would likely require fewer young assets, and they really should be keeping their best prospects.

        • Kosmo says:

          Solarte or Johnson can play 2B. If Roberts hits then not so much of a problem.
          I may have overlooked tradeable 2B but none really come to mind.

      • King George says:

        Don’t give up assets to get Headley when you can get Drew on the open market. Makes no sense. I’d rather give up a 3rd round pick to sign Drew than to sign Headley and part with Sanchez, Williams, and one more.

        • Kosmo says:

          My point is NY can hold onto prospects like Sanchez and Williams.
          Drew would be playing out of position and would have to learn a new position on the fly. He´s not going to be thrust into a MLB game at new position without extended reps and that could take at least the equivalent of a ST.

  12. Kosmo says:

    no one, I mean no one, expects Solarte to hit .350 but he could settle in at .275 or thereabouts.

  13. King George says:

    At what point do the Yankees just suck it up and realize they have a $220m payroll with a garbage infield and just sign Drew? I don’t know how you can spend $460m in an offseason and ignore 3B and 2B. I just don’t get it.

  14. Yankee$ says:

    Was that a subtle Who reference on Dr. Dellin & Mr. Betances ?? Wow. Surprised me there. They seem a bit before your time….but I’m loving it! Keep him away from the Gin!

  15. Brendan says:

    Unfortunately, I’m living in central MA right now and not only did NESN have skippy, desynced video/audio until the 5th inning, but their text poll question was “What is the most infamous moment in Yankee Stadium history?” It was the pine tar incident, Clemens throwing the bat at Piazza, Jeffrey Maier, and apparently the Yanks hold the record for the lowest attendance at a game ever? Don’t know when that was. They must have shown the Clemens and Maier clips at least 3 times a piece. I was watching the game with my friend from Colombia who is a new Sox fan (moved to MA from there in the last 3 years) and even he was questioning why they were talking about it! I don’t know if I can manage these next two games on NESN without choking to death on a pretzel. What’s that plugin so I can watch out of market mlb.tv games?!

  16. Marcus says:

    Aren’t they all new Sox fans?

  17. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    That sixth inning was a killer. Leaves me dreading that “one bad inning” with CC in the same manner I used to dread it with a certain other very different Yankee starter.

    Four runs keeps you in the game, though.

    #HIROK to the rescue.

  18. fred robbins says:

    CC should just shut his big effing yap already. For almost two years now, the same lame and bullshit excuses after he blows a game. To hear him talk about letting his emotions cost him the game– which is costing the TEAM a game, is so outright ridiculous, he should be booed off the field and told by his manager that if he can not control his emotions, then sit out a month or two or at least keep his big wide pie hole shut and stop proving what a complete waste of money he is. This man is a big part of the reason there was no playoffs last year and seems to be what will be a lack of playoffs this year….
    and as one commenter said– why in the world does Girardi get a pass on letting Jeter bat lead off when they paid 153 million dollars for one of the best Lead off hitters in the game.
    This whole slew of incompetent managerial staff from Cashman to Randy Levine and down on the field is just pathetic

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Just like the Yankees of old, which you claim to root for, would have done. Not.

      Get lost, old troll.

    • dalelama says:

      Excellent analysis fred…forgive the homers they know not what they do…they just can’t come to grips with the reality of Yankee management incompetence and on-the-field suckage.They had the same polyanna outlook at the beginning of last year until reality struck.

      We do however have two things in our favor this year, what should be a better starting staff and the rest of the East seems more mediocre.

      We may sneak into the playoffs but this team will be dreadfully boring to watch. We just need to pray that Pineda doesn’t blow out his surgically repaired arm, Tanaka can adapt to a new world and tougher hitting, we can squeeze another year out of an aging Kurota, the good Nova is prevalent, and CC can slow the rapid pace of his growing mediocrity.

      Other than that and a statuesque infield, very little power, and no proven closer the front office has done a super job.

      • Michahiro Pinaka says:

        Excellent analysis?? My god, are you two trolls made for one another.

        • Mike HC says:

          dalelama is extremely rough around the edges, and seems to have very high standards for what Yankee teams he enjoys rooting for, but he was relatively correct last year when he predicted that basically everyone would get hurt and/or under perform.

          • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

            Well when you’re nothing but negative, and a year turns out to be largely negative, yea, you’re bound to be correct about a few things.

            So the fuck what?

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:


            A lot of said a lot of things.

            We all have high standards. Someone’s standards shouldn’t be judged by how quickly they run to kick the team when they’re down.

  19. pinch hitter says:

    I know it’s kind of weird but it’s cute the way your lips move when you write.

  20. Yangeddard Solarte says:

    I don’t care if they have to make CC the 4th LOOGY in the pen, he should not be a starting pitcher for our ballclub. He’s not one of the 5 best SP in this organization so he shouldn’t be starting, period. And I’m sick of all the excuses for him -

    “Well, he eats a lot of innings”

    Who cares if he’s pitching to a 5-6 ERA? He can eat as many innings as he wants, if they’re awful innings then he shouldnt be pitching.

    “Well, if you throw out his bad innings he’s really been quite good.”

    You could say that about any pitcher! If you throw out all of Phil Hughes’s bad innings as a Yankee he was a great Yankee pitcher!

    “Well, he’s not an ace anymore and I only expect 5th starter outings from him”

    Excuse me? We signed him for $20 million/yr to be a 5th starter? Excuse me? That’s not what was expected of him. Pineda is better, Tanaka is better, Kuroda is better, Nova is better. This is ridiculous.

    • Mr. Roth says:

      Nova isn’t even close to being better. 4 runs in 7 innings isn’t horrible. It isn’t great, but it’s certainly no reason to pull him from the rotation. Get your head out of your ass.

  21. Brandon says:

    Underneath that bad ERA is a 2.38 xFIP. He’s given up 5 homers in 19 innings. That’s directly screwing him. He’s also stranding only 58.8% of base runners, and he’s giving up 38.5% of flyballs for homers. Basically, that’s really the only reason why he’s struggled last two years. Give it another month, jeez

    • YankeeDJW says:

      So the “only” reasons he has struggled are that more than half his baserunners score and his flyballs are sailing out of the park at an extremely high rate. And you think he’s just unlucky and a month will make a world of difference?

  22. fred robbins says:

    4 runs in 7 innings isn’t horrible—- true enough- if you have a team that is scoring 5 or more— this is not that team. Nova has thrown an amazing game or two or more— even a month’s worth and being named best pitcher of the month– for an American League East team. Can you- Mr Roth say that about CC? No— so while Nova is still very unpredictable, his great streaks of being able to win games 1-0 or 2-1 are worth the trouble for another year or so…

    That can not be said of CC…. SO it is quite unreasonable for you to tell someone to get their head out of their Ass…
    you could climb down of your high horse just as easily

    • Brandon says:

      Sabathia has won a Cy Young, ALCS MVP, six All-Star appearances, and has won 205 games in just 13 years. Give me a break with that garbage

      • Yangeddard Solarte says:

        By that logic Ichiro should be starting everyday over Brett Gardner. Look what Ichiro has done in his career. Sabathia ain’t that pitcher anymore and anyone who can’t see that is just blind.

        • Brandon says:

          Total false equivalency. This guy was trying to prop up what Nova has done in his career while trying to shit on Sabathia. Other than a high amount of run support, he’s been up and down

    • Mr. Roth says:

      If you don’t see the flaws in that argument, then you also need to pull your head out of your ass.

  23. fred robbins says:

    and what’s with the name calling Pinaka… do you like hearing a long time – 12 years? more? major league pitcher give the same comments after his losing effort? Just let CC be quiet, go get ice on his shoulder, and stop saying ” I got frustrated, I felt pretty good out there, I am hurting the team, whine whine whine– come on now–

    and what’s wrong with pointing out that how is that Oakland signed a really improved and made good again lefty- Kazmir, for just peanuts, while Cash is busy signing that Boston reject Bailey? Not to mention Grady Sizemore- while Cash signed the Sizemore who is down in the minors.

    If “size” counts, it looks the Yankees lose again. But hey– Trout will be a free agent in 7 years at about 40 million per year- so we can all look forward to that;-)

    • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

      So many words, so little sense being made. You’re saying about seven things at once and none of them come together to make a cohesive point. Unless of course all you’re trying to say is “Yankees Suck” and “Cashman Failed.”

    • Mike HC says:

      MLB forces these guys to give press conferences. You don’t think CC would prefer to not have to talk to the media after losing a game and not pitching all that well? Like you said, there is nothing he can say. Call him out for pitching like shit, but he has no choice but to keep talking.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      And the troll just shows more and more with this one.


  24. Axis of Mike says:

    I am actually more disappointed with Girardi than CC over this loss. Why sit one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, who has a reputation for handling pitchers well, when you know your erstwhile ace has been struggling? This is exactly the time when you need that kind of catcher in there, who would have, I feel certain, gone out to settle CC down after the bloop single by Ortiz that visibly rattled him.

    Then he pinch hits the same cold hitter in a clutch situation near the end of the game?

    Sometimes I don’t think he’s all that smart.

    • Mike HC says:

      CC does have a longer relationship and probably comfort level with Cervelli than McCann though. And Cervelli has been pretty good defensively of late as well. You could be right that Girardi made the wrong move, but I don’t really think that was the problem.

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