Was CC Squeezed By Ump? Yankees’ Girardi Says Yes

DETROIT (WFAN/AP) — CC Sabathia’s wild — or was it? — night has the Yankees on the brink of elimination.

Sabathia matched his playoff high with six walks in the Yankees’ 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Monday night that put New York in a 2-1 hole in the best-of-five AL division series.

“I put us in a bad spot,” Sabathia said somberly. “The next time I get the ball, I’ll try to go out and try to help us win.”

That might not be until next year, perhaps due in part to home plate umpire Gerry Davis.

“I actually thought he made a lot of good pitches tonight and I thought the zone was a small zone,” manager Joe Girardi said. “No disrespect to anyone, but that’s what I thought.”

The big lefty didn’t take the loss — Rafael Soriano did after giving up a tiebreaking homer to Delmon Young in the seventh — but the $161 million ace struggled to get the ball over the plate.

He lasted just 5 1-3 innings and issued six walks — one intentional — while allowing seven hits and four runs. He had three strikeouts and threw one wild pitch.

“You throw some borderline pitches and you don’t get them, it makes the innings tougher,” Girardi said. “Sometimes you don’t get outs that you should maybe get outs.”

“I felt like he was a little bit tight, especially on the outside part of the plate to right-handers,” said catcher Russell Martin. “He stayed consistent and kept the zone the same, so if we weren’t getting that pitch, there was nothing we could do.”

Sabathia, though, refused to make excuses about the way Davis called the game.

“I’ve never been one to look at who’s calling balls and strikes,” Sabathia said. “It’s up to me to get guys out.”

“There’s always going to be discrepancies about the strike zone in the playoffs,” said Tigers catcher Alex Avila. “I thought Gerry was very consistent both ways. There’s always going to be calls that you question, because in the heat of the moment, you want it.”

The last time Sabathia, who can opt out of his contract after this season, was that wild in the playoffs was Oct. 4, 2007, when he was pitching for the Cleveland Indians against the Yankees.

Sabathia’s control was so out of whack that he even struggled to connect with Martin on one of his intentional-walk tosses.

“I just couldn’t make pitches when I needed to,” he said.

The Yankees were planning on their ace pitching Game 1 and Game 4, if necessary, but rain suspended his first start after 1½ innings.

Plan B puts A.J. Burnett on the mound Tuesday. And no one rooting for New York is excited about that.

Burnett signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract during the Yankees’ blockbuster offseason in which they spent $423.5 million two years ago to add him, Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.

The right-hander hasn’t lived up to his end of the bargain, but he has a chance to provide an instant dividend if he can help the Yankees avoid getting eliminated in the Motor City.

“I’m not going to go out and try to prove anything,” Burnett said. “I’m going to go out and try to win a ballgame.”

What did you think of the ump’s strike zone? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • dabooch

    AJ pitching desperados is the operative word.

  • Luis Herrera

    The worst part is that CC not getting the calls meant free bases for the Tigers which ended up being runs. But when Verlander got the calls it was always to end an inning of kill a rally for the Yankees. So not only was the ump biased, he was missing calls in key points of the game. If you call a ball a strike when is 0-0 it doesn’t mean a whole lot. But when you strike a batter looking with bad calls (Swisher, Granderson, Cano) that’s free outs for the Tigers. They should look at the replays the next day, build a case and suspend all the umpires doing it. Then all the other ones will get better and in the end BASEBALL IS BETTER.

  • Jim

    If you check on PitchFX you will see that there is a big disparity between the balls called strikes for Verlander vs. the balls called strikes for the Yankee pitchers.

    Verlander got 15 balls called strikes, these were good deal outside the zone, so it wasn’t “close” pitches. The Yankees got 4.

    There was also a disparity on strikes being called balls for the Yankees.

    The disparity was big. a 3-1 ratio is huge, and it influenced the game. It took the bats out of the batters hands.

  • vinny

    I was looking at that little box that TBS had and pitches for Verlander were getting the call on the corner and the same place, same location for CC was a ball. Has anyone noticed also that there seems to be a bias against the Yankees with the announcers. Quick to show how many pitches for CC, very partial towards Detroit.

  • joemisb

    baseball sucks for letting the first game even start canos at bat should have never been it was pouring and tarp should have been put on field and again
    the people who run baseball suck including the umpires forget baseball and
    go have some fun at the casinos or the race track again baseball sucks because off
    the people who run it

  • Tommy C

    Squeezed or not squeezed he did it to both pitchers . Now we NEED AJ …..Let Go Yankees, at least we’re not Mut fans .

  • B. Selig

    It was ridiculous how much CC was getting squeezed by the ump! RIDICULOUS. And what made it worse, was Verlander was getting all those pitches AND MORE! Very inconsistent umpiring. What ashame.

  • Bee

    He called the outside pitches to lefties but not righties which just happened to work great for the Tigers since they were facing a lefty.

    • Paul

      Verlander got the corners. CC didn’t. I thought the strike zone was bigger for Verlander than CC

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