- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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New York Yankees
The Yankees have lost four times in their last six games.
And their best starter and reliever is mostly or completely to blame for why.
With CC Sabathia getting knocked around again in a loss to Tampa Bay Friday night, he and closer Mariano Rivera are going through their struggles at the time in the season after anchoring the team for nearly all of the year.
Sabathia is now 0-2 in his last two starts, after being 16-4 before starting last Saturday against Boston, and Rivera has blown a save and been tagged with a loss in his last three appearances. Combined, the duo has given up 16 runs in their last 16 2/3 innings, all of which have come since Saturday.
"These two guys are happening to go through their little thing at the same time. You don't ever want to see anyone go through it but you know that you start day one, you know that every player in that room is going to go through a period where they struggle. You know that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Some are going to go through two and three, and you just have to fight your way out of it and I'll take my chances (Sabathia's) next start."
While the two have not been pitching like they usually do lately, their manager and teammates are not concerned about the pair. First baseman Mark Teixeria said he didn't think Sabathia pitched that bad Friday night, despite giving up five runs, and also has no reservations about Rivera, who has given up a run in three straight appearances
"I think that's the same thing for Mo. He's human. I think Mo is definitely a victim of his own success. This guy has been lights out, automatic, for 15-plus years so if he has a bad week, the bells start going off," Teixeira said. "That's the world he's created, he's been so good, he's been so dominant, to me the best pitcher of all time. So if he has a couple bad games, people are going to talk about it."
CC Sabathia #52 SPNew York Yankees 2011 STATS GM26 W16 L7 BB46 K175 ERA2.93 The Yankees have lost four times in their last six games.