CC Sabathia said his right knee hurt so much on Tuesday night that he thought he might call it a career.
“When it first happened, initially I was freaking out,” he said Friday.
“To go home,” he said, meaning for good. “Quite honestly, yes. I was in a lot of pain.”
But Sabathia, forced from Tuesday night’s start in Toronto after three innings, got good news when an MRI showed no damage in a right knee that has given him plenty of trouble over the years.
He was placed on the disabled list Friday with right knee inflammation and will be replaced in the rotation Sunday night by Jordan Montgomery. Sabathia said he expects to return when his 10-day stint is up.
He said part of his somber tone after Tuesday night’s game was anger at himself for not keeping up maintenance on the knee, which included a series of cortisone and PRP (platelet- rich plasma) shots that he and doctors laid out before the season. But because the knee showed “no swelling and no symptoms” and overall “was feeling good,” there were no shots since last January.
“I was down the other day [because] I know what my knee is and I felt like I let it creep back up on me,” Sabathia said. “That disappointed me and upset me. I should be on top of it better.”
Sabathia, whose contract is up after the season, had the shots Thursday and said that should get him through the end of the season.
“I feel like either way, I need to stay on top of it and do the shots anyway,” he said of future management. “When I’m feeling good and when I’m not, just because something like this could happen.”
Montgomery, optioned to Triple-A last Sunday, said he was disappointed with the demotion but was dealing with it. “I was going to handle my business and just wait for September or whenever they needed me,” he said Friday.
That turns out to be Sunday night against Red Sox ace Chris Sale.
“I’m not facing him, I’m just facing the batters,” Montgomery said.
He added with a slight smile: “Our hitters will take care of him.”
Swing and a miss
Aaron Judge made it 28 straight games with at least one strikeout, extending his franchise record, in the third inning of Friday night’s 5-4 victory over the Red Sox. At that point, he had 46 strikeouts in his last 95 at-bats.