MINNEAPOLIS -- There are few things that frustrate CC Sabathia more than giving up the lead. That it happened Wednesday night by walking in a run made it all the more irritating to the Yankees ace.
"You know how I am," Sabathia said after the Yankees' 6-4 ALDS Game 1 victory. "I don't want to give up the lead, especially when the team battled back so hard."
Sabathia's final line was far from typical for him. He gave up four runs (three earned) and allowed 10 baserunners (six hits, three walks and one hit batsman) in six innings. "It was a grind," he said, describing his outing.
The Twins jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to a two-run home run by Michael Cuddyer to straightaway centerfield in the second and a run-scoring passed ball by Jorge Posada in the third inning.
But once the Yankees fought back with a four-run top of the sixth to grab a one-run lead, they figured to be in great position. Their undisputed ace -- their 21-game winner and Cy Young candidate -- was on the mound.
Except it didn't play out as they expected.
"To score four runs in the inning and me give it back,"Sabathia said, "it's tough... I just made bad pitches. Trying to get a ground ball, flyout, anything at that point. Just trying to make a pitch."
Sabathia walked three in the inning, including a two-out free pass to Danny Valencia on four pitches with the bases loaded.
"I'm happy we won definitely,'' he said, "but I was just grinding out there."