CC Sabathia (9-9, 4.65 ERA) hopes to rebound from his last time out against the Rays. He takes on Andrew Cashner (7-5, 3.88 ERA) at Petco Field tonight. Sabathia is scrambling for answers in the middle of a troubled stretch. He is 0-2 with a 10.93 ERA in his last three starts, having allowed 26 hits and 22 runs (17 earned) in his last 14 innings vs. the Twins, Red Sox and Rays. ”It’s just a number of things,” Sabathia said after his last start. “I feel like over my career, I’ve been able to avoid the big inning. Lately, I haven’t been able to make the pitch.”
Cashner has won his past two starts. He walked five in his last start against the D-backs and allowed two home runs after not giving up any in his previous eight starts. He’s struck out at least five in his past three starts.
Mariano Rivera will make another stop on his farewell tour Friday, when the Yankees visit Petco Park for the first time. The legendary closer has never pitched in San Diego during the regular season, but he certainly has fond memories of the city since it’s where he recorded his first World Series clinching save back in 1998
The Yankees are just 5-7 since the break. The returns of Derek Jeter from the disabled list and Alfonso Soriano in a trade from the Cubs have helped, but not cured, New York’s offensive struggles. The Yankees have scored two runs or fewer in 37 games this season, and needed an error to plate their second and third runs on Wednesday night in a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles.
The Yankees weren’t expected to make any more splashy moves after acquiring Soriano last week. So when the Deadline passed and their lineup remained the same, it wasn’t much of a surprise. “We were able to get Soriano, a middle of the order bat, left field and he can DH for us,” Joe Girardi said. “Besides that, we should get Curtis Granderson back here, and it’s almost like making a trade if you get him back. Kind of expecting him to be here probably this weekend.”
Andy Pettitte, for one, was perfectly fine with a quiet Deadline day. “I just feel like this team’s got a lot of experience, and hopefully we can just will this thing, will it into the playoffs. I know I expect to go. And I’m sure and I hope everyone else in this room feels the same way. I think the power of belief is awfully big and awfully important. And I believe in this club.”
Only five Padres have faced Sabathia. None of them have recorded more than four hits against him.
The Yankees made one previous regular season trip to San Diego, taking two of three in June 2002 at Qualcomm Stadium. Petco Park opened in 2004.
First pitch is at 10:10 PM (EST) on Yes.