CC Sabathia tries to get himself right this evening when the New York Yankees continue a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium.
Sabathia has not pitched well in his first two starts, surrendering nine runs in 12 innings, but has yet to receive a decision. On Wednesday in Baltimore the big left-hander gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings of his team's 6-4 win. He also struck out eight batters and has fanned 15 in his two starts.
"I was just trying to be too fine with my fastball," Sabathia said. "I had good command, and my pitches were doing what they needed to. I was just trying to make too good a pitch."
Sabathia could get himself back into the win column tonight, as he owns a 14-8 lifetime mark against the Twins with a 2.98 ERA in 30 starts.
The Twins, meanwhile, will hand the ball to lefty Francisco Liriano, who is 0-1 through two starts and has pitched to an awful 10.00 ERA. After getting tagged for five earned runs in four innings of his debut, Liriano was hit hard by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday, as he again surrendered five earned runs and seven hits in five innings.
"He had the real one bad inning," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "But at least he got through five, which saved us a little bit out in the bullpen, which we needed desperately."
Liriano has faced the Yankees seven times (six starts) and is just 1-3 with a 3.08 ERA against them.
The Twins picked up a rare win in the Bronx on Monday, as Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau were in vintage form and Carl Pavano settled down after a rough first inning to lead Minnesota to a 7-3 win.
Mauer went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, a steal, a run scored and an RBI while Morneau added a solo homer for Minnesota, which was coming off a three- game sweep at the hands of the Rangers.
"We're going to go as they go. They're the heartbeat of this team," Twins catcher Ryan Doumit said of Mauer and Morneau -- two former AL MVPs. "We're going to rally around those guys, and it showed today."
The victory was only the third in 12 tries at the new Yankee Stadium, as Minnesota improved to just 8-33 on the road in this series under Gardenhire.
Pavano (1-1) got the Twins back on track by shutting the Yankees down after their three-run first inning. The right-hander lasted seven frames and allowed seven hits while striking out six and walking one.
Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson each went 2-for-4 with a home run for New York, which had won five of six coming in. Freddy Garcia (0-1) was tagged for five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss.