The New York Yankees haven't gotten a whole lot from their starting pitching through the first two games of their set with the Detroit Tigers.
They hope that's not the case this afternoon when CC Sabathia takes the ball in the rubber match of the three-game set at Yankee Stadium.
Sabathia won his second straight start on Monday in Texas, as he allowed four runs and seven hits in eight innings. Although the big lefty is 2-0 on the season, he is pitching to a 5.27 ERA and has given up at least four runs in three of his four outings this season.
"I was able to establish the fastball and just pitch from there," Sabathia said after his last start. "It gives you confidence, but this is a good lineup, so you can't really slack off or have a mental lapse at all."
In 32 starts against the Tigers Sabathia has posted a 15-12 mark with a 4.53 ERA.
Sabathia will need to be better than Freddy Garcia was on Saturday when the Tigers evened this set at a game apiece, as Drew Smyly threw six-plus strong innings for his first MLB win and Andy Dirks hit a three-run homer, leading Detroit to 7-5 win.
Smyly (1-0) gave up just two hits, two walks and a run and struck out seven in his fourth major league start.
"He pitched like a veteran pitcher, to be honest with you," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland about Smyly. "He was terrific today and they hadn't seen him before so that helped."
Miguel Cabrera had two hits, including a solo homer, and knocked in three runs as the Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak.
Nick Swisher hit two solo homers, including one in a three-run ninth for New York, and Curtis Granderson added a solo blast.
Garcia (0-2) was knocked around for six runs, five hits and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings. He has pitched just 13 2/3 innings in four starts and has a 12.51 ERA.
"His stuff is not what we're used to seeing. It's not coming out of his hand the way we're used to seeing," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "We're trying to figure out what's going on."
Garcia's loss had followed up a poor showing in the opener from Ivan Nova, who had also allowed six runs. However, the Yankees were able to rally in that one for a 7-6 win.
Detroit, meanwhile, will counter with righty Max Scherzer, who has lost two of his last three starts. Scherzer was banged around by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday to the tune of five runs and 10 hits in five innings to fall to 1-2 on the year, while raising his ERA to 8.24.
Scherzer, though, is 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in three starts versus the Yankees.
The Tigers were 4-3 against the Yankees last season.