CC Sabathia got off to a rough start yesterday in his Yankees Debut. I'm sure another start like this and New Yorkers will be booing him, but lets see if we can gain any insight from his 2008 season, which also got off to a rough start. RJ Anderson looked at his movement and pitch speed and thinks Joe Morgan was making up excuses as his pitch speed was fine yesterday.
Dominance and Control
Sabathia had some struggles to start 2008 and had given up 27 ER in his first 4 games. He then turned it around and began to become much more consistent. You can see this in his K/9 and BB/9 which were very erratic in his first month of starts.
He was still slightly erratic later in the season, but his low points were not as bad as the first month. His jump in walks on July 8th was his first start for the Brewers. Once he got through that though he dominated with a solid K/9 and BB/9.
Similar to Myers Sabathia not only struggled with his K/9 and BB/9 numbers, but he also had trouble getting a solid GB rate. Here is his game by game graph.
He isn't a 50% ground ball pitcher, but he should keep his rat in the upper 40's, but early in the year he was routinely giving up an excess of fly balls and line drives. This led to excess hits and homers. Even though it dipped late in the year it was more consistent then the early going.
Unfortunately Sabathia's line yesterday was not very encouraging at all as he didn't strike a single batter out in 4 1/3 innings pitched. He also walked 5, which continues to show a tendency for slow starts and bad debuts. This appears to be a trend and should right itself, but I will be interested how quickly NY will turn on him if he gives up 21 runs in the next 3 games to total his 2008 start.