The Yankees enter tonight’s game having lost consecutive games for the first time in August. Last night they were shut out for the first time since June 23 (though honorable mention goes to that 15-inning scoreless tie on August 7). This is what qualifies as a slump in a second-half that has seen the Yankees go a staggering 23-8 (.742).
Vallejo, California native CC Sabathia takes the mound to try to keep Yankees from playing like a normal team comprised of humans rather than ass-kicking baseball-playing robots. He has his own battle to fight as well, as he’s struggled at the Coliseum over the course of his career (0-4 with an 8.54 ERA in his last five starts there). CC has been flat awesome in his last two starts (15 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 BB, 19 K, 0.57 WHIP, 0.57 ERA, 2-0).
Facing CC will be Hackensack, NJ native Vin Mazzaro, who gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Yankees in the Bronx on July 23. Mazzaro started his major league career in June with four quality starts, but hasn’t had one since. He did pick up wins his last two times out by holding his opponents to three runs across five innings, but those opponents were the Royals and Orioles.
The Yankees run out their standard lineup tonight against the righty Mazzaro. That means Hideki Matsui is back in at DH having missing just one game after having his knee drained during Sunday’s contest. Last night the lineup behind Derek Jeter went 4-for-28 with a pair of walks against Brett Tomko and company. They’re almost guaranteed do better tonight.