The Mets beat the Yankees, 6-0, on Sunday afternoon at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. The Mets hit four homers and the Yankees only had three hits. This was CC Sabathia‘s line against the Mets: 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 hits, 3 homers, 4 Ks
CC Sabathia allowed an inside the park home run to Juan Lagares to lead off the game. Jose Pirela, who was playing center field, crashed into the wall in center trying to make the catch and ended up having to go to the hospital as a result of a concussion.
Also, in the first inning, Mets first baseman hit a deep homer to right off of Sabathia, which proves that he isn’t all the way back. However his velocity was there again as he threw a 94 mph fastball in the first, he struck out David Wright on a 93 mph inside fastball and struck out Michael Cuddyer on a 92 mph fastball in the first.
In the second inning, Sabathia bounced back from his rocky first inning. He struck out Wilmer Flores on a high outside fastball and then struck out Ruben Tejada on another high outside fastball. Matt Reynolds grounded out to Didi Gregorius to end the inning. However, in the third inning, David Wright hit his second homer of the spring, and Sabathia would allow one more run.
The positive sign that Sabathia can take away from this appearance was that his fastball was consistently between 92 and 94 mph in the first two innings. This helped him record four strikeouts and makes his change, which was 86 mph, much more effective. However, the negative sign is that he allowed four earned runs after allowing two in his first start. This gives him an 11.57 ERA in 4.2 innings.
It will be important for Sabathia to limit the opposition to one earned run or less in his next start so that he will be able to finish spring training and go into the regular season with confidence. He needs to locate his pitches and not allow one run to lead to three or four. It also didn’t help that his fastball reverted down to the upper 80s in the third inning. However, Sabathia still seems confident going forward.
“I said to Larry (Rothschild) that I felt a lot better than I did last spring,” Sabathia said of the Yankees’ pitching coach. “I would rather get my (butt) kicked like I did today than give up no runs and felt like I did last year.”
Chasen Shreve, who will likely begin the season with Triple-A Scranton, allowed three hits and two runs in the eighth inning. Shreve now has a 5.87 ERA in 7.2 innings after having a 0.73 ERA in 12.1 innings pitched (15 games) with the Atlanta Braves last season. Shreve will be an asset in the Yankees bullpen this season, but he needs some more experience at Triple-A.
Matt Harvey got the start for the Mets and limited the Yankees offense to only two hits in 5.2 innings. The only highlight by the Yankees offense while the Mets ace was pitching was when Mark Teixeira led off the top of the second with a single and then stole second as Duda wasn’t holding him on. Teixeira only has seven steals in his previous four seasons.
Scott Baker, who is still a possibility to be the fifth starter, pitched 4.1 innings scoreless while recording two strikeouts and only allowing one hit. Baker, who in 2011 had a very good 3.14 ERA in 23 games (21 starts) in the last of his seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins, has a 4.32 ERA in 8.1 innings pitched so far. He is known as a pitcher who pounds the strike zone and limits his walks, and he he has done that in spring training as he has seven strikeouts and zero walks.
Either Adam Warren or Esmil Rogers will likely be the No. 5 starter, but this appearance by Baker should keep him in the consideration. Baker can be relied on to keep the team in the game while not allowing many free passes to the opposition. If Baker is not chosen to be the No. 5 starter, he will be valuable insurance pitcher in Triple-A in case a starter struggles or has an injury.
The Yankees will play the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium at 1:05 p.m. on Monday afternoon.