First Pitch: CC tries to stave off elimination

October, 17, 2012
10/17/12
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DETROIT -- CC Sabathia was supposed to be the man to lead this team to a championship. He is the guy everyone knew would be the most important member of this team if it won it all.

All Sabathia has done so far is go 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 17 2/3 postseason innings. The rest of the staff has done its best to support Sabathia. But you know the story -- the Yankees hitters haven't shown up.

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Still, Sabathia will try to hold off a sweep and the offseason for the lifeless Yankees. He could do it, provided the Yankees can score at least one run. In his three regular-season starts against the Tigers -- two of which came here in Detroit -- Sabathia was 3-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 21 2/3 innings.

The Yankees have never lost in the six times Sabathia has started on the road in the playoffs. He is 3-0 with a 4.19 ERA.

In his past eight postseason starts, Sabathia is undefeated, going 4-0 with a 3.97 ERA in 47 2/3 innings.

He'll have to stay undefeated for the Yankees to stay alive.

UP NOW: Ian O'Connor on the collapse. Wallace Matthews on Joe Girardi's shake-up that didn't work. My news story on Phil Hughes' stiff back and the big-time benchings. And five things from the clubhouse.

ON DECK: Rob Parker will have a new column today. Mark Simon will have a What2Watch4. Max Scherzer faces Sabathia.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you play Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
3 2.15 35 29
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .325
HRC. Beltran 5
RBIC. Beltran 13
RA. Soriano 12
OPSC. Beltran .938
ERAM. Tanaka 2.15
SOM. Tanaka 35

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