Yankees starter CC Sabathia allowed seven runs in seven innings to the Rays this afternoon, resulting in an 8-3 loss. Though the Yankees had won in Sabathia’s previous three starts, the lefty is winless in the month of May and struggled for the second start in a row. On May 20, Sabathia allowed four runs on 11 hits in 6.1 innings.
Via ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews:
Asked what he thought the problem was, Sabathia said, “It’s just everything. Not being able to make pitches with two strikes, fastball command, location. I just need to work and make certain I can get better and try to help the team.”
Sabathia spoke in a barely audible whisper, and at times his voice seemed to shake.
Sabathia says his left elbow, surgically cleaned out in the offseason, “feels great,” and insists he has no physical problems that have caused him to lose velocity, and today, command of his fastball.
Sabathia has a 3.96 ERA on the season, but most shockingly, he has allowed 11 home runs in 72.2 innings of work. Comparatively, he allowed 22 home runs in 200 innings last year and between 17-20 in every season prior to that, ranging between 180 and 253 innings.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.