Game 5 starter CC Sabathia said he’s fine-tuned some things during his time between starts. Nothing drastic, just correcting the usual bad habits that creep up every now and then.
“That was really what it was all about, just making sure I stayed tall, staying closed and getting my fastball command back,” the lefty said of his work with pitching coach Dave Eiland. “Because every pitch I throw, it comes off my fastball; my changeup, my cutter, my curveball. So you know, I need to have my fastball coming in to be able to command both sides of the plate and that’s what we kind of focus on a lot in the bullpen.”
Though he wouldn’t use his long layoff in between starts as an excuse, Sabathia said he thinks starting on regular rest Wednesday will help him.
“Obviously I didn’t really know what I was doing,” he said of his Game 1 start against the Texas Rangers, in which he gave up five runs in four innings. “I hadn’t been out there in so long, I didn’t know what to correct. There were so many things: not standing tall, flying open – because, typically, I can have a bad inning and then find out what I’m doing wrong and get my mechanics right and be able to correct it during the game. But I just didn’t really have a clue. I was searching for anything and at that point I was trying to throw strikes and I kept battling and staying in the game as long as I could.”
The goal, he said, is for all the Yankees starters – starting with A.J. Burnett Tuesday night – to resemble Andy Pettitte on the mound.
“We know that everybody needs to step up and kind of match what Andy has been doing this postseason,” he said.