Yankees LHP CC Sabathia threw six scoreless innings on Monday to lead New York to an 8-1 win over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium.
"I'm not surprised what he did tonight," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We talked about it, we wanted him on the mound tonight. We thought we had the right guy on the mound tonight. Again, six innings, just an outstanding effort. Couldn't ask for anything more."
Sabathia, who escaped a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the third inning, became the first pitcher who is at least 37 years old to throw at least six shutout innings in a postseason game since Pedro Martinez in 2009. Sabathia gave up three hits, walked four and struck out five, throwing 64 of his 99 pitches for strikes.
"CC was really good because he didn't make a lot of mistakes," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We swung a little bit to the margins on the outside of the strike zone a little bit. ... He's got a pretty good breaking ball, especially when he gets you in the swing mode. We were a little swing happy tonight against him and he took advantage of being able to pitch to the outer parts of the strike zone."
When Sabathia pitches after a Yankees loss, he is 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts, including the postseason.
"Obviously you want to go out and have a good performance in the playoffs and give us a chance to get back in the series," Sabathia said. "Hopefully we did that tonight."
Coming off a 4 1/3-inning, two-run outing in Game 5 of the ALDS, Sabathia retired eight of the first nine batters he faced before running into trouble. He issued two two-out walks and a single to load the bases for Carlos Correa, who popped out to shortstop to end the inning.
"I was trying to make a pitch," Sabathia said. "He likes to get his hands extended. I was trying to get something in on him and made a good enough pitch where he popped it up to short."
Added Hinch: "He pounded some of our righties in very well, especially with Correa at bat with the bases loaded."