Yost defends leaving in Sabathia
Manager dismisses notion of overusing free-agent-to-be
MILWAUKEE -- The CC Sabathia train kept rolling for Milwaukee on Monday, when the left-hander threw his fifth complete game in nine starts since joining the club in early July. The outing, however, did not come without considerable effort.
Sabathia needed 130 pitches to navigate his eighth victory since arriving in Milwaukee -- including 19 in a ninth inning that began with the Brewers ahead by seven runs. Yost defended his thinking in leaving his ace on the hill.
"You have to understand the anatomy of what's going on in the game," Yost said. "CC has thrown an average of 13.7 pitches per inning, which is the seventh-lowest in baseball. Where guys get in trouble is the 20, 25 and 30-pitch innings. CC has none of those. We set up the rotation for CC and Benny to have those types of night."
Yost was referring to a decision keeping all five starters on their regular turn, thus allowing for an extra day of rest in the event of an off-day. Sabathia will make his next start Saturday on six days' rest, then make his next appearance on seven days' rest.
Yost admitted there was also a measure of giving Sabathia every chance for the complete game.
"You give them the opportunity when the situation allows it. ... It's a certain mental pride knowing they can go out in a Major League game and finish what they start," Yost said. "I felt like he deserved the opportunity, no matter what the score was last night, for him to accomplish it, and it was something that he wanted to accomplish."
An error by shortstop J.J. Hardy meant the run Sabathia allowed in the ninth was unearned, and two additional infield singles prolonged the frame.
"The last inning, if we made a play for him, it would have been under 10 pitches," said Yost. "Never once did he labor. Where he labored was the Chicago game [July 28], when he threw 6 2/3 innings and had 124 pitches. That's grinding through. Those are the starts that wear on you, not the starts like yesterday."
Yost also dismissed the notion that the team was seeking to get maximum output from Sabathia, given the likelihood that he will sign a meaty free-agent contract elsewhere once the season ends.
"I would never do that to anybody," Yost said. "I respect him as a player, I respect him as a person and he's got a family. I know how this business works, and he has to provide for his family, and I would never do anything to take away from that ability. I just couldn't live with myself. That's just not the type of person I am."
JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.