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Pow! Rangers knock out CC Sabathia after 4, get jump on Yankees

Big League Stew

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The Texas Rangers knocked out ace CC Sabathia(notes) after four innings in the opening game of the ALCS on Friday.

Sabathia allowed five runs, six hits and four walks, throwing a whopping 95 pitches in the second-shortest playoff outing of his career.

Thankfully, for Sabathia's sake, the Yankees came back to stun the Rangers 6-5 in Game 1.

Earlier, Sabathia appeared to be digging the Yankees a big hole. He allowed a three-run homer to Josh Hamilton(notes) in the first inning and a two-run double to Michael Young(notes) in the fourth.

Sabathia's only redeeming moment was tagging out Nelson Cruz(notes) at home after he threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the Rangers' big first.

Former setup man Joba Chamberlain(notes) took over in the bottom of the fifth with the Rangers leading 5-0.

Since coming to the Yankees a season ago, Sabathia had a 2.34 ERA and limited opponents to a .635 OPS in six playoff starts. With New York, he averaged just over seven innings per start in the playoffs.

However, Sabathia's postseason results with the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians weren't as successful. In 2008 with Milwaukee, Sabathia lasted 3 2/3 innings in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Phillies. He also allowed five earned runs in that game, which was notable for the bases-loaded walk by pitcher Brett Myers(notes) that preceded a devastating grand slam by Shane Victorino(notes).

Sabathia also had an 8.80 ERA in three starts for the Tribe in the 2007 playoffs.

With A.J. Burnett(notes) reportedly struggling in a simulated game in advance of his scheduled Game 4 start, let the speculation begin about manager Joe Girardi starting CC on short rest instead.

But, again, he threw 95 pitches against the Rangers. Not a small amount.

Meanwhile, the Rangers are still looking for their first-ever home playoff victory.

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