CC Sabathia and Russell Martin were paired together tonight for just the third time this season and the first time since April 11. We’ll likely see them work together more often the rest of the way.
Sabathia allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in a complete game 6-3 victory over the Mariners tonight at Yankee Stadium. The southpaw struck out notched 10 strikeouts. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Mariners.
Sabathia actually held the Mariners to just one run until giving up a two-run homer to Dustin Ackley in the top of the ninth. Yankees manager Joe Girardi then came out to the mound to take his temperature, but the big southpaw stayed in the game and recorded the final three outs to finish off his second complete game of the season and the 35th of his career.
Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Raul Ibanez all had RBI singles in the victory while Eric Chavez added a two-run homer which just made it over the outstretched glove of Eric Thames in right field. Chavez, who is filling in for the injured Alex Rodriguez at third base, now has double-digit homers for the first time since 2007. The 34-year-old actually left the game for precautionary reasons after tweaking his ankle during an at-bat in the eighth inning, but Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that it’s not believed to be serious.
Sabathia improved to 11-3 with the victory and now holds a 3.53 ERA and 133/34 K/BB ratio over 135 innings this season.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.