Thursday, July 23, 2009

Game 95: Got To Get Better In A Little While

This will be CC Sabathia's second start against the A's wearing Pinstripes, and the last one wasn't particularly pretty. It took place on April 22nd and was a sloppy back and forth affair that took 14 innings and nearly 5 hours to complete. CC went 6 2/3 innings but allowed 7 runs (6 earned) and only struck out two. His opponent that day was Brett Anderson, a rookie from Midland, Texas making his first start against the Yanks. The Yanks got to Anderson as well (5ER in 5 2/3IP), but neither factored into the decision for obvious reasons.

Tonight, another rookie will make his debut against the Yankees in the Bronx, although this one might be a little more familiar with the area. Vin Mazzaro was born in Hackensack and attended Rutherford High School from which he was drafted by Oakland in the 3rd round of the 2005 draft. He started out in low A-Ball in 2006 with less than impressive results. He started 24 games for the Kane County Cougars, averaged fewer than 5 innings per appearance and had an ERA of 5.05. He was promoted in 2007 anyway to High A Ball in Stockon, CA where he produced similar results: a 5.35 ERA and a 1.62 K/BB ratio.

He received another promotion in 2008 (to AA) and took a gigantic leap forward in his age 21 season. Scouts credit his improvement to increases in velocity and swapping a nasty slider for what had been a relatively ineffective curveball. He was promoted to AAA before the conclusion of the year but struggled there, posting an ERA of 6.15 over 33 2/3 innings. His 2009 season began in AAA but picked up where he left off in AA performance-wise, compiling a 2.38 ERA in 9 starts and one relief appearance. He was called up to the Major League club in late May this year, and hit the ground running. He didn't allow a run over his first two starts, totalling 13 2/3 innings, but his ERA has risen steadily ever since. It's now at 4.09 following 5 consective losing outings and his record sits at 2-6.

Sabathia, on the other hand, has been alternating gems and clunkers over his past 5 starts, going 3-2. He's given up only 2 runs in the 1st, 3rd & 5th of those outings while surrendering 11 in the 2nd and 4th. He came back from the All-Star break on a high note with 7 shutout innings against the Tigers and looks to keep that momentum going tonight. As was the case in the Detroit game, Jorge Posada will do the catching.

It might be a little while before the game starts up tonight as rain is already falling on the NYC area. It looks like it's going to pass, but not for a while. Ross from New Stadium Insider's personal Weather connection tells us that the game probably won't start until about 8:30. Check back with him for more updates or stop by Yankees Weather on Twitter.

Hang in there, this rain won't last forever.

Still one thing that you can do;
Fall down on your knees and pray.

It's got to get better in a little while...

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