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News » Yankees-Tigers Preview 2009-04-27

Yankees-Tigers Preview 2009-04-27

Yankees-Tigers Preview 2009-04-27
There is some thought that CC Sabathia is putting too much pressure on himself since joining the New York Yankees. Perhaps he will be feeling less of it pitching in a ballpark where he has enjoyed some past success.

Sabathia hopes to solve some of his early problems Monday night at Comerica Park, where the Yankees begin a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers.

The Yankees (9-9) signed Sabathia to a $161 million, seven-year contract, expecting him to anchor their rotation. But the big left-hander has not gotten accustomed to his new surroundings, issuing 14 walks and allowing 25 hits over 24 1-3 innings.

Sabathia (1-1, 4.81 ERA) allowed a season-high seven runs and walked four over 6 2-3 innings Wednesday in New York's 9-7, 14-inning win over Oakland.

"I'm just trying to be too fine," he said, "trying to throw right to the corners."

He may be able to bounce back Monday. Sabathia is 7-2 with a 3.80 ERA in 11 career outings at Comerica Park, although that ERA rose from 3.09 after he allowed seven runs over four innings in his last start there on July 5, 2007. Sabathia has issued more than two walks just twice in those starts.

Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge is 6-for-44 (.136) with 14 strikeouts against Sabathia. Carlos Guillen and Placido Polanco have fared better, hitting .317 and .306 respectively.

Inge, though, is on a major tear by reaching base in all 18 games. He is hitting .323 with team highs of seven homers and 17 RBIs.

"He's in a good groove," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I don't want to make a big deal out of his home runs. I just want him to hit the ball hard. If he does that, he'll hit some home runs because he's real strong."

The Tigers (10-8) have played the fewest home games in baseball, sporting a 4-1 record as they begin an eight-game stretch at Comerica. They capped a 5-4 road trip with two straight victories in Kansas City, winning 3-2 on Sunday.

New York is trying to avoid a fourth straight loss after being swept over the weekend in Boston. Sunday night's 4-1 loss capped a frustrating series in which the Yankees blew leads in every game.

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano enters with a 13-game hitting streak, and is batting a team-high .373 for the season after going 6-for-15 with two homers and six RBIs over the weekend.

The Tigers are concerned with how Justin Verlander (0-2, 9.00) has pitched at the beginning of the season. The right-hander is still searching for his first victory after getting tagged for seven runs over five innings Wednesday as Detroit won 12-10 over the Los Angeles Angels.

Verlander has lasted past the fifth inning just once in four outings.

"When you get in a little stretch like that, you're waiting for something bad to happen," Leyland said. "Sometimes, you just want something so bad, and that's the only thing going on with him right now. He just wants to contribute so much. But he's going to be outstanding for us, no doubt in my mind."

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 6.63 ERA in four career outings against the Yankees. Verlander has dominated New York's Nick Swisher, who is 6-for-32 (.188) with three homers and 11 strikeouts against him.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 27, 2009

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