NY Yankees 4, Detroit 0
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, June 10, 2016
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Carlos Torres, 1B -
Ben May, 2B -
Mike Winters, 3B -
NEW YORK -- For most of his career, CC Sabathia has been a power pitcher. Then the power started diminishing and a set of frustrating injuries followed.
It took a little while to get adjusted, but now Sabathia is healthy and figuring out how to be effective with a different repertoire.
Sabathia continued demonstrating his effectiveness by pitching seven innings Friday night when the New York Yankees moved over .500 for the first time in nearly two months with a 4-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
"I knew that every pitcher ages and you lose your fastball velocity and all that stuff," Sabathia said. "Talking to (pitching coach) Larry Rothchild, we felt good about the direction we were headed with the cutter and changeup.
"I think it took a while and I think it was health. I just wasn't healthy enough to be able to execute pitches."
Early on, there wasn't much to feel good about with Sabathia. Through the first month when the Yankees stumbled to an 8-16 start, he was 1-2 with an unsightly 5.06 ERA.
Starting with seven scoreless innings in Baltimore on May 4 on the night when he also injured his groin, Sabathia has a 0.71 ERA, lowering his ERA to 2.28 -- the lowest it has been through at least 10 starts at any point of his career.
"Nothing," Sabathia said when asked what having a lower ERA than Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw meant.
Still, what Sabathia has done in the last month is significant for other Yankees (31-30), who are not surprised with his success which continued on the night they won their fifth straight game and moved over .500 for the first time since April 13.
"It's extremely difficult but it goes back to mental makeup and all that stuff," New York catcher Brian McCann said. "His is off the charts and it was just a matter of time. Once it clicked, you knew it was going to click."
Sabathia found a way through a difficult start when he needed 12 pitches to get a strikeout of Ian Kinsler on a pitch which the Tigers thought was low and outside. He struck out Cameron Maybin and retired Miguel Cabrera for the first of three times.
When Sabathia returned to the mound, he had a 3-0 lead after the Yankees capitalized on Mike Pelfrey's early command issues and left fielder Justin Upton's bad read on a fly ball.
The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the first on two singles and a walk before going ahead on Brian McCann's walk. The lead grew to 3-0 when Didi Gregorius doubled over Upton's head on a ball which eventually reached the warning track.
Armed with the three-run lead, Sabathia had two on in the second but got out of it. After the Yankees took an 4-0 lead in the third on Carlos Beltran's RBI single, which occurred one pitch after Detroit catcher James McCann's two-base error on a pickoff attempt of Brett Gardner, Sabathia stranded two in the fourth, retired Cabrera on a double play to end the fifth and cruised through his final two innings.
"You can't really count CC out," Upton said. "He's been a good pitcher for a really long time. You don't take anybody lightly. He pitched really well. He knows how to pitch."
Pelfrey eventually figured things out and lasted 6 2/3 innings while allowing four runs (three earned) and six hits, but with how the Tigers were doing against Sabathia, it was not enough.
"He's a little bit sneaky," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said of Sabathia. "He's cutting the ball, he's using the changeup. He's got pretty good life down in the zone. His velocity was actually better this time than the last time we saw him. It was all the way up to 93, so he was sneaky and a little bit firmer."
NOTES: The Yankees placed 1B Chris Parmelee on the 15-disabled list with a Grade 2 right hamstring strain and said he will be sidelined for at least a month. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi said 1B Nick Swisher was not promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre because reports indicated Swisher's bat was not "doing what he was capable of doing." ... CF Cameron Maybin returned to Detroit's lineup after not starting the past two games. Maybin had a cortisone shot to deal with soreness in his left wrist, which he broke during spring training. ...Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera is hitless in his last 18 regular-season at-bats against LHP CC Sabathia. ... New York 1B Mark Teixeira (right knee) will start tee and toss work at some point next week. If it goes well, he will progress to taking batting practice and fielding ground balls.
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