Last October, CC Sabathia might have been the difference between the Orioles winning or losing their five-game American League Division Series with the Yankees.
Now the lefty is struggling and that has to be a strange sight to New York's AL East foes.
Sabathia is 11-11 with an ERA of 4.81 in 27 starts this season. But over his last seven starts since the All-Star break, Sabathia is 2-3 with a 7.30 ERA. He has allowed five runs or more in four of those seven outings with a batting average against of .305.
Sabathia has just two wins and an ERA of 6.54 over his last nine starts while going less than six innings in five of those games. In his last four home starts, he is 1-3 with a 5.63 ERA.
This is very unSabathialike, of course. He has given up 9.6 hits per nine innings this year and his 27 homers allowed is a career high already, five more than in all of 2012.
The O's have three lefties in the lineup tonight. Left-handed batters hit .238 off him this year and right-handed batters are hitting .280.
Interesting note from the Yankees on Sabathia: Since his debut in the big leagues at age 20 in 2001, he has thrown a major league-high 42,889 pitches.
MLB wins leaders since 2001:
202 - CC Sabathia
189 - Roy Halladay
180 - Mark Buehrle
The Orioles need a win tonight to get back to .500 at 27-27 against the AL East and to go over .500 at 19-18 since the All-Star break. The Orioles are 7-5 in 2013 against the Yankees and are 25-18 in the first game of a series.
The Orioles are 16-10 in their last 26 games against New York. Since beginning this season 1-3 vs. New York, the Orioles have won six of the last eight games between the teams.
Mark Reynolds is playing against the Orioles tonight. In 11 games with New York, Reynolds is 9-for-34 (.265) with two homers, six RBIs and a .795 OPS. When Reynolds played for Cleveland at Camden Yards in June, he went 2-for-9 without a homer or RBI.
Here is an interesting note from Elias Sports bureau: With 177 homers and 39 errors, the O's lead MLB in homers and also have the fewest errors. The last team to do that over a full year was the 1976 Cincinnati Reds.