While CC Sabathia refuses to blame his left elbow for his poor performance in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Tigers on Thursday, he told George A. King of the New York Post today that he’s a little concerned about his upcoming visit to Dr. James Andrews.
“A little bit,” the Yankees ace said Saturday regarding his level of worry. “It’s something I never felt before. … I’ve never had a problem with the elbow.”
Sabathia had a brief stint on the disabled list in August due to elbow soreness, but he was very effective upon his return, posting a 2.93 ERA over his final eight starts during the regular season. The southpaw allowed three runs over 17 2/3 innings during two starts in the ALDS against the Orioles until his clunker on Thursday.
An MRI in August ruled out any structural damage in the elbow while Sabathia maintains that his elbow didn’t affect him during games and was only an issue between starts. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told David Lennon of the New York Daily News today that Sabathia will see Dr. Andrews “in about 10 days,” so we should get an answer on his status soon.
Sabathia tossed exactly 200 innings this season, his sixth consecutive 200-inning campaign and the seventh of his 12-year major league career. The 32-year-old southpaw is under contract for at least another four years and $99 million.
UPDATE: Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York was told by a source that Sabathia probably just needs a bone spur cleaned out of his elbow. He’s not expected to have any ligament damage, so it’s not considered serious. As of now, it sounds like he’ll be good to go for the 2013 season.
Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez continued to struggle on Thursday, allowing a run in a 2-1 loss to the Mariners. It’s the sixth time in nine appearances that the right-handed veteran has allowed a run, bumping his ERA up to 6.23. He’s blown two saves and has two losses on the year.
Despite that, it doesn’t sound like Rodriguez’s job as the Tigers’ closer is in any jeopardy, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. When asked how much of a leash Rodriguez has, manager Brad Ausmus said, “I’ll let you know.” Ausmus continued, “I think people have short memories. This guy did a pretty good job for us last year. Early on, people were worried because the velocity was down. Well, the velocity is back.”
“But at some point,” Ausmus said, “he does have to pitch the way he pitched last year, because he did an outstanding job for us last year and in a city that has been looking for a closer that was consistent for a long time, he was that.”
Rodriguez, 35, doesn’t have the stuff he once did. And the Tigers do appear to have someone who would be a better option in high-leverage situations. Lefty Justin Wilson has thrown 9 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings so far this season with 15 strikeouts and three walks. But for now, it sounds like Rodriguez will be free to work through his issues.
Don’t look now, but the Nationals have the best record in baseball at 16-6. They’re coming off a 10-game road trip in which they went 9-1, including sweeps of the Braves and Mets and a 3-1 series against the Rockies at Coors Field. During that series with the Rockies, the Nationals scored 46 runs, which is nearly as many as the Royals (54) have scored all season long. The Nats scored double-digits in all three wins.
The first game at Coors, an 8-4 loss, saw a three-hit game from Anthony Rendon and a homer from Ryan Zimmerman.
The second game featured Trea Turner hitting for the cycle and driving in seven runs. Daniel Murphy had three hits and five RBI.
The third game saw Turner finish a triple short of the cycle. Bryce Harper had four hits. Zimmerman had three hits including a homer. Murphy homered, too.
The fourth game featured homers from Adam Eaton, Harper, and Murphy. Seven members of the lineup had multiple hits and six had multiple RBI including pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
The series helped the Nationals bring their run differential to +34, the best in the National League. The Yankees are the only team with a better differential at +35.
Indeed, the Nationals are sad to be leaving Coors Field. They return home to open up a three-game set with the ailing Mets on Friday night.