YANKEES (95-51) AT TIGERS (43-100)
6:40 p.m. ET; FS-D, YES, MLB.TV
CC Sabathia is making another — and probably final — comeback when he starts at Detroit on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old New York Yankees (-1.5) left-hander, who has been bothered most of the season by a balky right knee, will take the mound for the first time this month in the second game of a three-game series. Sabathia hasn’t pitched since Aug. 30, when he gave up one run in three innings against Oakland.
Sabathia got through a bullpen session in Boston on Monday without any issues. He’s hopeful that he can make steady contributions for the Yankees through the playoffs.
“This is way better than I thought,” Sabathia told reporters. “I didn’t think I was going to get to this point, not with this knee. I think we knew coming into this season, it was going to be a battle. To still be able to have a chance to make starts is all I wanted.”
Sabathia, who announced over the winter that this season would be his last, likely will need surgery after the season.
If the Yankees weren’t one of the favorites to win the championship, Sabathia might have already opted for the surgery.
“There’s nothing really to manage. … It flares up when it flares up,” he said. “I feel good right now, and knock on wood it continues to feel good.”
Sabathia (5-8, 4.93 ERA) probably won’t go the required five innings Wednesday to pick up a victory.
Sabathia has faced the Tigers 40 times in his career, posting a 21-14 record and 4.16 ERA.
Domingo German (17-4, 4.21 ERA) will be the first reliever out of the bullpen. He’ll remain in a relief role through the postseason, as the Yankees want to limit his innings.
“We’re trying to win a championship,” German told reporters. “The game will be the same.”
Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (8-10, 4.57 ERA) has won his last two starts. Most recently, he gave up three runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings in Kansas City on Sept. 5.
The left-hander didn’t give up a homer after surrendering 13 in his previous five outings.
He collected 13 strikeouts when he faced the Yankees on April 3. Boyd gave up only one run in 6 1/3 innings that day but wound up with a no-decision. He’s 1-2 with a 5.57 ERA in four career starts against New York.
The Tigers will be looking to string together two victories, something the 100-loss club hasn’t done very often this season. They won a wild 12-11 game on Tuesday, overcoming six Yankees homers and a six-run deficit.
The Yankees had won their last 97 games when scoring 11 or more runs.
“We feel like we’ve been playing good baseball, but only on the road. We haven’t been able to do anything at home,” said Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire, whose club hit the 100-loss mark on Sunday.
“Tonight, our fans got to see some of the things we’ve been seeing on the road, and that’s exciting. Our fans were into it, the players were into it. It was a back and forth game. They were hitting ball into the seats about every five seconds, it felt like. But we hung on and got the final hit.”
–Field Level Media