Sabathia falls flat as Yankees drop opener in Oakland, 6-3

It was a Labor Day to forget for the Yankees, as they dropped the first game of their crucial, three-game series in Oakland by a score of 6-3. With Monday’s loss, the Yankees are now eight games back in the loss column of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East, and four games up in the loss column of the Oakland Athletics for the top Wild Card spot.
Photo Credit: Thearon Henderson/Getty Images
CC Sabathia, an Oakland native, was on the mound for a homecoming start… and looked awful. Sabathia allowed five men to reach base, and three runs to score, in the first inning. It was obvious from the beginning that the veteran didn’t have anything going for him and that he wasn’t going to come through with his usual big game brilliance. After surrendering another run in the second, on a walk and a double, Sabathia pitched a scoreless third. However, the good times would end right there. The big lefty’s afternoon ended when Marcus Semien ripped a one-out double to left in the fourth inning. On the day, Sabathia lasted just 3.1 innings, while allowing nine base-runners and four earned runs. It was his worst outing since surrendering seven runs to Texas in 4.1 innings way back on May 23rd.

Oakland had a balanced offensive output from their lineup today, but they were led by burgeoning star Matt Chapman, who went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. This continued a stretch that has seen him hit .298 with nine home runs and 19 RBI in his last 30 games. The Athletics, usually known for hitting the long ball, only scored one run today via the home run. Out of the bullpen, A.J. Cole was once again mediocre, allowing a solo home run to Mark Canha, and two hits, over 1.2 innings. However, Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga both looked electric, striking out a combined six over the final three frames. Loaisiga, pitching at the MLB level for the first time since July 2nd, showed that he could be a force out of the bullpen down the stretch.

The Yankees’ bats were good early, but not often, Monday. The scoring started in the first inning for them, as Andrew McCutchen picked up his first hit as a Yankee, then stole a base and advanced to third on an error. Aaron Hicks delivered the Yanks’ MLB-leading 49th sac fly of the year, and they were up 1-0. One inning later, Luke Voit continued his late-season heroics with a two-run home run to right field. The big fly was his sixth as a Yankee in a mere 55 at-bats. Over the final seven innings of the game, New York was blanked and managed only one hit. That one hit came off the bat of recently acquired Adeiny Hechavarria, who, like McCutchen, also picked up his first hit as a Bronx Bomber.

What’s Next?
Game two of this three-game series in Oakland is Tuesday night. The Yankees will send J.A. Happ (15-6, 4.00 ERA) to the mound, looking to bounce back from an ugly start against Detroit last week, while the Athletics have yet to announce their starter, but are expected to go with a bullpen game. First pitch is scheduled for 10:05pm and the game can be seen on YES and MLBN. Let’s hope that one goes better than this did.

Recap by: Jake Graziano


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