UPDATE: Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Sabathia will be placed on the disabled list.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Carig that Sabathia initially felt stiffness in the elbow in his first start back from a groin injury on July 17, but an MRI came back clean. The stiffness went away, but he felt something in the elbow again after his last start on Tuesday.
The move is retroactive to Thursday, so he’ll be eligible to return on August 23. Girardi continues to say that his level of concern is “pretty low,” so it appears the Yankees are just playing things safe here. Still, it’s tough not to be concerned if you’re a Bombers fan.
1:03 PM: Here’s a potentially troubling development for the first-place Yankees.
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, CC Sabathia could miss his next start after experiencing some minor soreness in his left elbow in recent days.
Sabathia threw his regular bullpen session on Friday, but he could be scratched from Monday’s scheduled start against the Rangers if symptoms persist.
“Right now, it’s a low-level concern,” the source said. “Long-term, it’s not a big concern.”
Sabathia gave up five runs (three earned) over 6 2/3 innings Wednesday against the Tigers and holds a 3.56 ERA through 20 starts this season. No pitcher has thrown more innings than Sabathia since the start of the 2003 season. Only Mark Buehrle has logged more innings since Sabathia made his major league debut in 2001. The Yankees are downplaying the situation right now, but you can bet they are hoping the miles on his arm aren’t catching up with him.
The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.
CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.
Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.
In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.
The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.