On Friday night, CC Sabathia was pegged with his first loss since August of last season. He was due for one.
The 37-year-old labored through 5.0 innings while allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits while allowing five walks. He wasn't sharp, nor was his defense as a Gleyber Torres error proved costly.
This season, Sabathia is 2-1 with a 2.40 ERA over 41.1 innings with 33 K and 9 BB.
The Yankees lost to the Royals 5-2 on Friday night, bringing their record to 28-13. They are still first place in the AL East, two games better than the Red Sox in the loss column.
While the Yankees looked exactly like a team that had played just six innings of baseball in the previous four days, Sabathia was also off his game after not pitching in over a week.
The extended rest may have been an issue for Sabathia as he was uncharacteristically wild and was unable to get out two jams caused by separate Torres miscues. This marks two straight mediocre (at best) efforts from Sabathia in which he has pitched just nine combined innings. The left-hander was coming off a start in which he allowed four runs on nine hits against the Red Sox in a no-decision.
It is hard to come down hard on Sabathia for the last two starts considering Friday's loss was the first he took since Aug. 8, 2017 against the Blue Jays. That said, as Sabathia might have been perceived to be at the lower rung of the rotation ladder when the season began, his performance is critical to the Yankees' success this season. As such, the Yankees hope this is a small bump in what has been a fun rejuvenation story.