Sabathia failed to get out of the fifth inning Monday in a 10-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, and Mark couldn’t buy a hit with that $180 million the Yankees heaped upon him during the offseason.
“I was terrible. I battled from the first inning on,” said Sabathia, who signed a $161 million, seven-year contract in December. “At some point I’m usually able to find it. Today was just one of those days where I didn’t. When I have one of those days, this is the result you get.”
Sabathia (0-1) gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings, walked five, threw two wild pitches and did not record a strikeout for the first time since July 25, 2005, at Oakland. The six runs were the most he had allowed in 32 starts since last April, when he pitched for Cleveland.
“I just try to go out and help the team win as best as possible. Today I didn’t do that,” Sabathia said.
His angst matched that of Teixeira, booed throughout the afternoon by Baltimore fans who were angered that the first baseman opted to sign with the Yankees instead of his hometown Orioles.
Teixeira went 0-for-4 with a walk and stranded five runners, including two in the eighth after the Yankees had cut a five-run deficit to 6-5.
“I didn’t get it done there,” he said, referring to his groundout with runners at the corners and two outs.
“The guys that were supposed to step up and do it, did,” Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
“I guess we can’t go undefeated,” manager Joe Girardi said with a thin smile. “Yeah, it’s one game. We didn’t execute today.”
Sabathia threw 96 pitches, in part because the Orioles were selective at the plate.
“We didn’t chase bad pitches, and when he put it in there, we hit it,” Trembley said.
Guthrie was delighted—but not surprised—at the run support he received with Sabathia on the mound.
“I’m going to get used to it,” he said. “I feel like those guys can hit the ball very well. They showed it all last year, and there’s no reason to think it won’t happen again.”
The game drew a sellout crowd of 48,607, the largest on opening day in the 18-year history of Camden Yards.
Vice President Joe Biden threw out the ceremonial first pitch, a high fastball that brought catcher Chad Moeller out of his crouch. Biden, who spent 36 years representing Delaware in the Senate, became the first sitting VP to throw out the first pitch at Camden Yards.
New York was without Alex Rodriguez, who during spring training admitted using steroids several years ago with Texas. He will miss the beginning of the season after undergoing hip surgery. The third baseman was gone but not forgotten, as evidenced by this sign near the New York dugout: “Where’s A-Roid?”
Sabathia had a difficult first inning, giving up a leadoff single to Roberts and walking Jones before firing two wild pitches—equaling the number he threw in 253 innings last year. But Sabathia did not allow a run, and worked a perfect second before running into trouble in the third.
After New York took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Johnny Damon in the top half, Baltimore went up 3-1. Izturis singled, Roberts walked and Jones followed with a triple to right before Nick Markakis hit a sacrifice fly.
Damon hit a two-out triple in the fifth and Teixeira walked before Matsui popped out.
In the bottom half, a double by Roberts and infield hits by Jones and Markakis produced a run. Melvin Mora then got an infield hit and Huff hit an RBI grounder before Sabathia issued an intentional walk to Ty Wigginton to load the bases. Sabathia then walked Luke Scott to force in a run, ending his afternoon.
Sabathia held a heating pad against his midsection in the dugout between innings. Afterward, he said he was just keeping his hands warm.
Posada homered leading off the sixth, and later in the inning Xavier Nady doubled in a run.
A two-run homer by Matsui in the seventh off Chris Ray made it 6-5, but that’s as close as the Yankees got.
It was the fifth time in 251 career starts that Sabathia did not get a strikeout. … Baltimore is 3-0 in openers against the Yankees. … Nick Swisher got a pinch-hit double in his New York debut. … Rodriguez is expected to begin working out next Monday at New York’s minor league camp in Florida.