In his first start of the spring, veteran CC Sabathia used all his tricks by mixing speeds, producing ground balls and getting strikeouts.
Sabathia retired Tampa Bay Rays leadoff man Corey Dickerson before surrendering two straight singles to Kevin Kiermaier and Evan Longoria. After retiring Steven Souza on a groundout, Curt Casali worked a walk to load the bases. However, catcher Jesus Sucre swung at the first pitch and flied to right to end the inning. Sabathia’s slider and cutter were his most dominant pitches in the early going, with his changeup getting better as the outing went on.
We missed that breaking ball.
In the second inning, Sabathia would settle down. He retired the 7-8-9 hitters in order by striking out the first two batters looking. The veteran pitcher looked strong in his first start coming off of his knee getting drained in the offseason.
The Yankees would definitely sign up for the kind of season Sabathia had last year when he went 9-12 with a 3.91 ERA over 30 starts in 179.2 innings, his highest total since 2012. However, with more miles on his arm and surgically repaired knee, it remains to be seen if CC can hold up for a second straight season.
Sabathia’s final line today: 2.0 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 35 pitches (24 strikes).