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Bronx Briefing: CC Sabathia Can’t Stop Yankees’ Slide

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CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees is pulled from the game in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox on June 9, 2011. (credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees is pulled from the game in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox on June 9, 2011. (credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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By Neil Keefe
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Et tu, CC?

Thursday night was supposed to be about the Yankees ace stopping a losing streak against the Red Sox and preventing a new three-game slide from happening. It was supposed to be about the Yankees getting back to their winning ways and proving to the Red Sox that they are on even ground. It wasn’t supposed to be a waste of time for anyone that sat through the three-plus hour rain delay at the Stadium or the people that stayed up to watch the Yankees try to salvage the third game of the series. But that’s exactly what it was.

It’s hard to get on CC Sabathia, however, he isn’t protected from criticism from me the way that Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are. It’s not hard to get on CC after Thursday night.

The Yankees needed Sabathia to find a way to carry that 2-0 lead to the ninth inning to Rivera or even the distance. They needed him to prove that he can go shot for shot with 2011 Josh Beckett and prove that he can beat the Red Sox this season. He failed to do any of these things on Thursday night for the third time this season and the second time at home — where he has dominated since becoming a Yankee.

Thursday night felt like it was going to be different because Sabathia was on the mound, but it wasn’t. It was much of the same we have seen from the Yankees against the Red Sox this season and what we have seen from Sabathia vs. the Red Sox this season. Instead Sabathia had the type of start we have gotten used to from Beckett against the Yankees that last few seasons, in which he looks unhittable for the majority of the game until it all quickly unravels. While I’m happy that Sabathia became the first Yankees pitcher to drill David Ortiz in Ortiz’s now eight-plus seasons with the Red Sox, I’m not happy with his effort after the sixth inning and his inability to hold the lead.

Sabathia has now faced Beckett three times this season. The Yankees have lost all three games. Here is what CC has done against the Red Sox:

0-3, 19 IP, 24 H, 13 R, 13 ER, 9 BB, 15 K, 1 HR, 6.16 ERA

And here is what Beckett has done against the Yankees:

3-0, 21 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 25 K, 1 HR, 0.86 ERA

Sabathia has been so good when he isn’t facing the Red Sox. Just like A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia have been. And Bartolo Colon too. After getting back on track since the last time the Yankees saw the Red Sox, the Yankees have found life to be hard when they aren’t playing the Orioles or A’s.

The Yankees came into this series with a one-game lead in the East. They leave it with a two-game deficit in the East. A complete waste of three nights in the Bronx. Now they won’t see the Red Sox until Aug. 5 at Fenway Park. They have a lot of work to do before then.

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