Sabathia Has Resurged: Yankees Are Fortunate

To know that CC Sabathia has not resembled a 36-year old pitcher is good news for the New York Yankees.  Wednesday night in the Bronx, Sabathia, a 16-year veteran and in what will most likely be his last season in pinstripes, pitched 8.0 scoreless innings and retired the last 12 Boston Red Sox he faced.

Sabathia, 7-2, certainly has once again earned his designation as the ace. The lefthander had his longest start without issuing a walk in four years when he did that against Toronto. More importantly, the Yankees need Sabathia if they are going to keep up this pace and leading the pack in the AL East.

It also helped that Sabathia got support from a Yankees offense that banged out 12-hits in their 8-0 won over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

“Thought he had a good fastball and sinker,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. And you could sense the manager was content on knowing that Sabathia has the ace role back after recording his fifth straight win. All of those wins have also come after a Yankees loss, including the night before in the opening game of this three-game series.

“Used his other pitches effectively,” Girardi said. “We needed him. We lost a tough one last night. He’s pitched well this year. He’s been that guy the whole year, the guy to turn too.”

Of course, Girardi is hoping that righthander Masahiro Tanaka can get it fixed. He has been the ace and the last month has not resembled one by giving up the home run ball and losing his fifth straight game Tuesday night. For now, Tanaka will work out the issues as Sabathia continues to get better, and not showing any signs that there are lingering issues with two bad knees.

“Just tried to make good pitches,”Sabathia said. “There’s a long way to go but it feels real good to be contributing. To be healthy and repeat by ability feels pretty good. Boston, Toronto, Baltimore, those are big games so you want to pitch well.”

The Yankees are in this 13-game stretch against divisional opponents as they continue their slim first place lead in the ALEast. So with Sabathia, looking more like an ace it is hoped this latest comeback will continue in the months ahead.

“There is always the fixes in a course of a year,” said Girardi. Obviously, Sabathia has demonstrated the comeback mode and now the concern is about Tanaka who makes his next start Sunday afternoon in the Bronx against the Orioles.

The offense came from another veteran, Chris Carter who may have been auditioning to stay in the lineup with the imminent return of first baseman Greg Bird. Carter hit a three-run homer in the third inning, his second in as many nights and 3-for-4 with 4 runs batted in.

His last four home runs have come at Yankee Stadium, and Carter said there have been a lot of ups and downs.

“Just trying to be consistent, he said. “A lot can happen in this game. “ The 4-RBI were the most since last September at Chicago as a Milwaukee Brewer. The Yankees also got a third inning home run from Didi Gregorius,his fifth of the season and five runs came off starter and loser Rick Porcello.

But for now the talk is about CC Sabathia and this turn around. The Yankees are in better position if he stays consistent and most of all healthy.

“He’s been this guy his whole career that that you can turn to when you needed a big win and he still does it,” said Girardi.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring7686 Mancuso

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