In the years of George Steinbrenner’s reign, tonight’s game against the Orioles would be stamped ``must win,’’ or expect a Tampa tantrum to develop. The prospect of three straight defeats, with two against the lowly Orioles, would not be ignored.
The Yankess will not be hearing from the close to 80-year-old Steinbrenner. But it is never too early to end any kind of a losing skid, so CC Sabathia (2-1, 3.00) finds himself in something of a stopper role against Baltimore. The team’s ace is also coming off a bad performance against the A’s in Oakland. He walked six batters against a soft lineup and gave up a three-run homer to Kurt Suzuki.
Sabathia owns the Orioles with a lifetime mark of 9-1 and a 2.55 earned run average. Baltimore righthander Jeremy Gutherie (0-2, 3.46) may be winless, but he has thrown the ball well for a team in the doldrums. He hasn’t been so hot against the Yankees with a lifetime record of 3-6 and a 4.78 ERA.