The Yankees bullpen was toast and they were staring at an 0-3 start to this nine-game trip to the West Coast.
In desperate need of their ace to step up, CC Sabathia did, as did the Yankees' offense, which is usually the case in his starts.
"No complaints," Sabathia said of the offensive support he typically gets.
Coming in the Yankees were averaging 7.63 runs per Sabathia start.
Of course, Sunday was a day he didn't need much of it as he dominated Mariners, allowing one run and five hits over eight innings in improving to 6-3 with a 2.98 ERA.
"He just knows how to pitch," Joe Girardi said. "He [Sabathia] takes it upon himself to say, ‘I’m going to go out and do it for you.’”
Sabathia said he knew the Yankees needed some distance after A.J. Burnett lasted five innings Friday and Ivan Nova 3 2/3 Saturday but he didn't think about it.
“I don’t try and put any extra pressure on myself," he said. "That’s what I try and do every time out.”
Nick Swisher gave the Yankees an early 1-0 lead with his second-inning homer -- his first since May 7 -- and walked and scored in the five-run second that blew it open. At that point, he felt fairly certain the Yankees would be leaving town with a victory.
"When you have CC on the mound and you put three, four runs up early," Swisher said, "you're going to feel pretty good about your chances."