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Monday, September 9, 2013
First Pitch: Good morning, Baltimore

By Andrew Marchand

NEW YORK -- Even after their tough weekend in the Bronx, the wild-card race is right in front of the Yankees in Baltimore. They have four games with a team they are chasing.

On Monday, it starts with the man that has to finally be big the next three weeks if the Yankees are going to have a chance to pull off a playoff berth. CC Sabathia will lug his 4.86 ERA into Camden Yards to face off with Chris Tillman.

In his career, Sabathia has owned the Orioles, going 18-5 with a 3.33 ERA in 29 starts. If he were to win on Monday, his 19 wins would tie his most against any one opponent. He has also won 19 against the Tigers and the White Sox.

But we we all know that this is not the same Sabathia that racked up all those wins. Even his last time out against the lowly White Sox, he was only OK, not dominant, picking up the win by going 7 1/3 innings and allowing three runs.

At the end of August, Sabathia did beat the Orioles, but he gave up five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. In Camden, at the end of June, he lasted seven innings, giving up four earned runs in a loss.

UP NOW: My column on how the Yankees tried to kill their chances, but they are alive and well. Derek Jeter is hurt and there is no telling if or when he is coming back this season. Ian Begley on Ichiro Suzuki's ninth inning heroics and Hiroki Kuroda's tough performance.

ON DECK: Here are your pitching matchups in Baltimore: CC Sabathia (13-11, 4.86) vs. Chris Tillman (15-5, 3.71); Tuesday, Ivan Nova (8-4, 3.02) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (9-7, 3.98); Wednesday, Andy Pettitte (10-9, 4.03) vs. Scott Feldman (5-4, 3.63); Thursday, David Huff (2-0, 6.45) vs, Weu-Yin Chen (7-7, 3.82).

IN THE HOLE: Wallace Matthews and Ian O'Connor will be in Baltimore. Here are the latest wild-card standings.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you believe?