Three times is a trend and for the Cleveland Indians it is not a good one. Reigning AL Cy Young Award Winner C. C. Sabathia was thumped again as the Indians fell to the Oakland A's 9-7 in the series opener on Friday night. It was the third time in as many outings that Sabathia has struggled in 2008 and this one was the worst of all. His stat line was as follows:
3 1/3 IP, 12 hits, 9 runs (all earned), 2 BB, 4 K, 91 pitches
That stat line is god awful but here are a few more beauties that don't show up in the box score. In the top of the second 8 of 9 batters got a hit during one stretch of the inning. So in one time through the batting order, in one inning, 8 of the 9 A's got a hit. All of the Oakland starters had at least one hit by the third inning. So it wasn't as if a couple guys were eating C. C. up, it was the entire line-up. Eight of the 9 A's starters score a run (shame on you Daric Barton). Oakland was 8 of 12 with RISP. So when you need your ace to hunker down, Sabathia could not. It may have been worse if Grady Sizemore hadn't had made an amazing catch running into the CF wall at full speed in the 3rd.
Whether C. C. stay or goes after 2008 is irrelevant. What's important is the Indians can not contend with him. He was their stopper last year. When they needed a win to stop a losing streak, he got it. He's looked so over matched and lost for answers that it's is very worrisome. He needs to right himself if the Indians are going to right the ship. For now it's up to Fausto Carmona to be the stopper tonight in C-Town.
It's Tribe Time Now. Believeland.