New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians
When and Where: Saturday, June 8, Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio, 4:10 p.m. EDT.
More than 18 years after making his major league debut with the Indians, CC Sabathia‘s farewell tour arrives where it all began Saturday when he seeks his 250th victory as the New York Yankees continue their series in Cleveland.
Sabathia looking forward to final start in Cleveland
A first-round pick by the Indians in 1998, Sabathia (3-2, 3.61 ERA) made his major league debut for the Indians in 2001, failing to get a decision at home against Baltimore when Cleveland’s stadium was known as Jacobs Field.
CC Sabathia returns to Cleveland to pitch for final time in farewell season.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) June 7, 2019
The left-hander racked up 106 wins in seven-plus seasons with the Indians before being dealt to Milwaukee before the 2008 trade deadline to help the Brewers make the playoffs. Sabathia signed with the Yankees as a free agent the following off-season, and he has been in New York since, totaling 132 wins and 1,635 strikeouts in a career that will certainly warrant Hall of Fame consideration.
“It was a great time, a great time for me,” Sabathia said of his days in Cleveland to The Associated Press. “I was out here early today and just walking around and it’s weird, man. I don’t have like memories good or bad either way. It’s just memories. It’s a weird thing and it just feels so comfortable to be in this park.”
After two playoff appearances with the Indians and one with the Brewers, Sabathia has seen plenty of the postseason with the Yankees, winning the World Series in 2009 and going 8-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 18 starts and one relief appearance.
Sabathia has helped pick up the slack as the Yankees soldier on without staff ace Luis Severino, though the 38-year-old has also spent time on the injured list this year with knee inflammation. The southpaw took the loss Sunday versus the Red Sox, giving up a pair of solo homers and three runs overall as the Yankees absorbed an 8-5 defeat to their archrivals.
“What I don’t think he ever got enough credit for was, you know, the athlete he was,” Indians manager Terry Francona told MLB.com “And what I would marvel at, and still do, is how he can manipulate the ball. And by that I don’t mean by cheating, I mean, just … You watch him just throw, it’s so natural.
“He’s been doing it for a long time. He’s not the power pitcher he used to be, but he’s got such a good touch and feel that, I think, that gets overlooked.”
Sabathia has seen plenty of the Indians over the past decade, going 4-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 13 starts. The lefty is 0-2 with a 4.55 ERA in the last six matchups, though, and 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA in seven starts as a visitor in Cleveland.
Plutko latest to be plugged into Indians’ injury-ravaged rotation
The #Indians' pitching schedule:
Tonight: bullpen day w/Clippard starting
Thursday: Trevor Bauer
Friday: Zach Plesac
Saturday: Adam Plutko
Sunday: Shane Bieber
Clevinger will make his 1st rehab start on Thursday. The Indians hope he can return to the big leagues after 2 starts
— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) June 5, 2019
The right-hander split his two starts at Triple-A Columbus after being sent down and was knocked around for six runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings of a 12-5 loss to Toledo on Monday.
Plutko’s two starts with the Indians last month went in wildly different directions. He limited Baltimore to a solo homer and three other hits in six innings of a 4-1 win May 18 but was rocked for four homers that accounted for six of the seven runs he gave up in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-2 defeat to Tampa Bay five days later.
This will be Plutko’s first appearance against the Yankees.
The Yankees are:
- 51-17 in their last 68 games vs. starters with a WHIP above 1.30.
- 5-1 in Sabathia’s last six starts pitching on five days’ rest.
- 5-2 in Sabathia’s last seven road starts vs. the Indians.
The Indians are:
- 0-4 in Plutko’s last four starts during game 2 of a series.
- 2-5 in their last seven games following a win.
- 6-13 in their last 19 games after scoring five or more runs in the previous game.