CC Sabathia
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CC Sabathia may have pitched the last game of his career


Make no mistake: CC Sabathia doesn’t want the last start of his career to be the painful, three-inning affair he labored through during Friday’s 8-2 loss to the Athletics. A start where he allowed two walks and a first-pitch, 385-foot home run to Jurickson Profar, where his lingering knee pain reached a “level 10” as he utilized his full pitch arsenal to get Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman on back-to-back seven-pitch strikeouts.

But the Yankees placed Sabathia on the 10-day injured list on Saturday, marking the 39-year-old’s fourth trip to the IL this season. He’s scheduled to have his knee drained on Saturday as well, and will continue to receive additional treatment in the days that follow. None of this bodes well for his chances of returning to the mound sometime before the end of the season, when he’s expected to retire after wrapping a 19-year career in the majors.

“It’s frustrating, for sure,” Sabathia told reporters following Friday’s outing. “Especially because I feel like I can still get outs and help the team. The hardest part is not being able to be out there, and when I am out there, I’m not performing. It’s frustrating.”

He said he’s not worried that the team is coming up on their last month of regular-season games, though that gives him relatively little time to work back up to full strength. A definite timetable has not been given for his return just yet.

Whether or not he’s able to pitch again in 2019, however, the veteran southpaw is poised to finish his career with some impressive accolades: six All-Star nominations, a 2007 AL Cy Young Award, over 250 pitching wins and 66.7 fWAR, a World Series ring. Despite numerous setbacks this year, he currently holds a 5-8 record in 20 starts with a 4.93 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, and 8.6 SO/9 across 100 1/3 innings.

On a night full of letdowns, Yankees’ defense let them down the most

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Game 4 of the ALCS was a gigantic letdown for the Yankees for myriad reasons. They lost, first and foremost, 8-3 to the Astros to fall behind three games to one. Their fans continued to act boorishly. CC Sabathia exited with an injury, likely the final time he’ll pitch in his career. The offense went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest letdown of the night, though, was the Yankees’ defense. They committed four errors, their highest total in a postseason game since committing five errors in Game 2 of the 1976 ALCS.

Make no mistake: the two three-run home runs hit by George Springer and Carlos Correa, given up by Masahiro and Chad Green respectively, were the big blows in the game. But the errors contributed to the loss and were downright demoralizing.

The first error came at the start of the top of the sixth inning, when Alex Bregman hit a cue shot to first baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu couldn’t read the bounce and the ball clanked off of his knee, allowing Bregman to reach safely. He would score later in the inning on Correa’s blast.

The Yankees committed two errors in the top of the eighth, leading to a run. Yuli Gurriel hit another grounder to LeMahieu, which he couldn’t handle. That not only allowed Gurriel to reach safely, but Bregman — who led off with a double — moved to third base. He would score when second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t handle a Yordan Álvarez grounder.

Error number four occurred when Altuve hit a grounder to Torres to lead off the top of the ninth. The ball skipped right under his glove. Facing Michael Brantley, Jonathan Loaisiga uncorked a wild pitch which advanced Altuve to second base. Brantley followed up with a line drive single to left field, plating Altuve for another run. Loaisiga would throw another wild pitch facing Bregman but that one didn’t come back to haunt him.

The Yankees can’t control injuries, the behavior of their fans, or how good the Astros’ pitching is on any given night. They can control the quality of their defense. On Thursday, it was a farce, and now they’re staring down the barrel of having to win three consecutive games against the Astros to stave off elimination.