Make that four straight losses for CC Sabathia. The veteran southpaw struggled once again last night, giving up five runs over 5 2/3 innings against the Padres.
Sabathia yielded a season-high 14 baserunners (11 hits and three walks), including a fourth-inning solo home run by Logan Forsythe. His 24 home runs allowed this season are a career-high.
Sabathia has allowed 27 runs (22 earned) over 19 2/3 innings over his last four starts, bringing his ERA to 4.78 for the season. While Yankees manager Joe Girardi expressed confidence that he’ll eventually get over the hump, Sabathia indicated to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that the struggles are taking its toll on him.
“Of course,” Sabathia said when asked whether he was now worried about his season. “Who wouldn’t be?”
Hiroki Kuroda has pitched brilliantly for the Yankees this season and Ivan Nova has been a pleasant surprise recently, but it’s hard to imagine the Yankees making a run if Sabathia can’t right himself soon.
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.