Last night, although CC Sabathia, the Yankees’ ace left-hander, gave up 6 runs – 5 of which were earned – against Johan Santana and the Mets, I don’t think I would say that such an outing was surprising, really. After a strong start in April – he posted a 3.38 FIP and struck out 7.27 per nine innings – CC has been unimpressive this May.
Prior to last night’s game, CC owned a May ERA of 3.86, however, that number was more of an illusion than a legitimate indication of what the big southpaw was doing with a baseball. His FIP – again, the numbers I am using were produced prior to last night’s game, as I am looking at why such an outing against the Mets was somewhat expected – stood at 5.93 and his xFIP was 4.48. CC had walked 2.45 batters per nine, which is not a bad figure, however, he was also not striking out many hitters as his strikeouts per nine was 5.26. On top of that, CC had given up 6 home runs, allowing for an abnormally high 2.10 home runs per nine. After facing Jason Bay last night, that number has obviously gone up. In fact, CC has now given up 8 homers in May, which is a career-high for him (he had never given up more than 7 home runs in a month in previous years).
So, in light of the way he was pitching this May prior to last night’s ballgame, the results against the Mets were not especially surprising. CC has had trouble locating his fastball all month, leaving too many pitches up in the zone – even when he struck hitters out last night, the ball was up – and that same issue was on display at Citi Field. If I had to pick a cause for the struggles, I think mechanics are probably the key culprit. Whatever the case may be, I am sure CC will right the ship, as he always does. One only wonders when that will be, though.
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