CC Sabathia insisted after last night’s ugly outing that the elbow problems he dealt with earlier in the season weren’t an issue, but general manager Brian Cashman noted that the Yankees will ask him to get checked out anyway.
“Let’s put it this way, we’re going to look at that elbow, no doubt about it,” Cashman said, via Marc Carig of New York Newsday. “That will be on the list of things we have to look at now that the offseason’s here. Whether he wants to or not, we’re going to go look into this thing and make sure everything’s OK.”
Sabathia failed to make it out of the fourth inning against the Tigers, allowing six runs on 11 hits, but said afterward that his elbow “felt good” and “it felt good enough to pitch tonight.” And six days earlier Sabathia tossed a one-run complete game against the Orioles, striking out nine while allowing just four hits.
Sabathia, who signed an extension almost exactly one year ago, is under contract for at least another four years and $99 million.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.