After back-to-back poor outings by Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, the Yankees looked to CC Sabathia to give them a solid start Tuesday night against the woeful Phillies.
Sabathia was unable to do that. Make it back-to-back-to-back poor outings by the leaking Yankees rotation.
Sabathia was strafed for six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings and was booed off the mound after the Phillies scored five times in the fourth.
Sabathia was spared a loss when the Yankees rallied from a three-run deficit to tie the game. But Dellin Betances shockingly was charged with four runs in a five-run ninth as the Yankees lost their second in a row to the Phillies, 11-6, in a game that started after a 1:21 rain delay.
Maikel Franco's two-run double off Betances (4-1) gave the Phillies the lead for good and gave the rookie a second consecutive five-RBI night. Franco had four hits and two home runs on Monday.
Andres Blanco added a three-run triple off Nick Rumbelow, who relieved Betances and was making his big-league debut. Two of the runs were charged to Betances, whose ERA went from 0.26 to 1.25. It was his first career loss after nine victories.
Sabathia's ERA rose to 5.65. With the Yankees currently using a six-man rotation, the subject of the former ace being sent to the bullpen may at least have to be considered by the team's decision-makers.
But in the aftermath of the defeat, manager Joe Girardi said he was not considering that drastic step.
"You're asking me a question and I just walked in here two minutes ago and we played a game," he said. "He's a starter for us. I mean, that's what he is and that's what we're paying him to do and that's what he's going to do."
Sabathia, who said he is healthy, said he has not considered the possibility of being bounced from the rotation.
"No," he said. "That's not up to me. I just come here and try to do my job and try to help this team win."
Asked what the problem was, Sabathia said: "My stuff is there. I've just got to pitch smarter. It's not a case of my stuff being short or anything like that. It's just pitching smarter and pitching better."
In the last three games, the Yankees' top three starters (by reputation) allowed 21 runs (19 earned) on 29 hits in 13 innings. That's a 13.15 ERA. Overall, the Yankees have given up 34 runs in their last three games, all losses.
The Yankees hit four solo home runs (Garrett Jones, Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, Alex Rodriguez). Headley's homer was the 100th of his career.
But the Yankees failed to score after the fifth against the team with the worst record in baseball (26-47). The Yankees had golden opportunities with runners in scoring position and less than two outs in the sixth and seventh and failed to plate the go-ahead run.
The Yankees were leading 3-1 in the fourth when Cameron Rupp hit a game-tying two-run homer to the Phillies' bullpen in left-center that just eluded the leaping try of Chris Young. It was Rupp's first big-league homer.
One out later, Ben Revere and Cesar Hernandez singled. Franco then lofted an opposite-field three-run homer to the short porch in right to give Philadelphia a 6-3 lead.
Sabathia came out for the fifth and got the first two outs before Headley booted a grounder for his 16th error of the season. With Rupp due, Girardi removed Sabathia in favor of Branden Pinder.
This time, the crowd did not let Sabathia have it.
Sabathia, 34, is being paid $23 million this season. He has two more seasons after that at $50 million, including a 2017 option that vests if he doesn't suffer a shoulder injury next season.
At least the Yankees spared Sabathia his eighth loss. They tied the game at 6 in the fifth on back-to-back home runs by Headley and Rodriguez and a pair of doubles by Carlos Beltran and Chris Young.
Beltran's double knocked out Phillies starter Sean O'Sullivan. Young's double against reliever Elvis Araujo tied the score.