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.
One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.
For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.
As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.