Chicago (62-63) at Cleveland (64-65)

Fair Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Aug 27, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

C.C. Sabathia is not pitching like an ace, and he knows it.

The burly left-hander will get another chance to straighten out his problems when the Cleveland Indians continue a four-game series with the visiting Chicago White Sox.

Cleveland has dropped off the pace in the AL Central, slipping into a tie with the White Sox for second place, eight games back of Minnesota. The Indians were just one game behind the Twins entering their Aug. 15 game with Minnesota.

Sabathia has done little to help the cause, posting a 9.00 ERA in losing his last two starts.

The Indians had lost six in a row entering his last outing. Thought of as a stopper in the rotation, Sabathia gave up seven runs and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 7-3 loss to the Twins on Sunday.

“I’m disappointed in myself that I couldn’t get it done,” Sabathia said. “The definition of an ace is a guy who continues to win a game that the guys need. … I wasn’t that at all.”

Sabathia has been unable to generate any momentum over his last six outings, going 3-3 with a 6.56 ERA.

“I’m just all over the place—just so inconsistent,” he said. “You never know what you’re gonna get. You might get a guy who’s dealing; you might get a guy who’s gonna have five or six walks and be all over the place.”

However, general manager Mark Shapiro said he has faith in the 24-year-old left-hander, and still sees tremendous potential.

“I still feel that all the makings are there for him to be a legitimate No. 1 starter,” Shapiro said. “But we recognize that the age that most of those guys reach that level is usually 30 years old. This guy has already won more games at that level than almost any pitcher in the modern game. We’re asking a lot of him, and I still feel like he’s a special talent.”

The Indians will need a solid effort from Sabathia on Friday following their 10th loss in 11 games, Thursday’s 14-9 defeat to the White Sox.

Coco Crisp, Ben Broussard, Josh Phelps and Ronnie Belliard hit homers for the Indians, who scored more than four runs for the first time since a 7-1 win over Minnesota on Aug. 14.

Carl Everett homered and drove in four runs Thursday as the White Sox won for just the second time in eight games.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Grilli LAA vs. C. Sabathia NYY
2-3 Record 11-10
7.40 ERA 4.12
26 K 139
20 BB 72
1.60 WHIP 1.32