Yankees-Orioles Recap: C.C. Sabathia—A Disastrous Debut

Jerry FrasierContributor IApril 6, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees poses during Photo Day on February 19, 2009 at Legends Field in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

C.C. Sabathia’s debut appearance as the New York Yankees' top starting pitcher didn’t go exactly as planned. Sabathia is supposed to be the Yankees' ace, but today he did not look like one. C.C. Sabathia suffered his first career loss in nine career starts against the Orioles.

Sabathia pitched just 4 1/3 innings in the Yankees' opener against the Orioles. In these four innings, he gave up six runs, walked five, and threw two wild pitches—the same amount as he threw all of last season. He did not strike out a batter for the first time since 2005.

Sabathia left the Yankees in a 6-1 hole when he left the game in the fifth inning. The Yankees almost climbed out of the hole in the seventh inning, but the Orioles held them off. Cesar Izturis put an end to the game, with his two run home-run in the bottom of the eighth.

Sabathia’s performance was very weak for someone who just signed a huge deal with the team that is supposed to be one of the best in baseball. Sabathia got rocked by the Baltimore Orioles—not a bad batting team, but they are clearly not a strong batting team like the Boston Red Sox or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Sabathia was not alone in the poorly-performing saviors of the Yankees. Could it have been because the fans in Baltimore booed the first baseman after he declined to play for his hometown team, or just be the limelight of a New York Yankees uniform?

Both Sabathia and Teixeira performed poorly in the game, and the Yankees are now wondering if these were the correct off-season moves. As the Yankees await the start of A.J. Burnett, they will surely have this opening day performance in the back of their mind.