Desperation seems to be setting in for the New York Yankees.
Perhaps a return home can provide a lift, particularly at the plate.
New York (80-73) is 3 1/2 games back of Tampa Bay and Texas for one of the AL's two wild-card spots, and it must also overtake Cleveland, Baltimore and Kansas City to reach the playoffs.
The Yankees have nine games left, starting with three games each at home against San Francisco (71-82) and Tampa Bay before visiting Houston to finish the season.
"We've got to run the table, there's no way around it," infielder Mark Reynolds said. "We've got some tough games coming up. The Giants have good pitching, Tampa's got good pitching. We've got to have a good homestand and hopefully go into Houston with a chance.
"There's only so many 'Get 'em tomorrows' left."
That mantra is ending since the Yankees have dropped five of six while batting .184 with 13 runs. Their offensive futility continued with five hits in Thursday's 6-2 loss at last-place Toronto.
"It's frustrating," manager Joe Girardi said. "We haven't swung the bats that well for the last week."
They have at home, hitting .285 with 22 homers and averaging 6.0 runs while winning 16 of 22 there.
Sabathia (13-13, 4.90 ERA) has also found some success at home, winning three straight starts despite a 4.74 ERA. He's lost his last two outings - both on the road - while giving up nine runs in 13 1-3 innings.
"It's very frustrating, because everybody keeps telling me I'm close, but I don't see it," Sabathia told the team's official website. "I want results and I know the team wants results. I know the fans want results. It's just tough not being able to deliver."
He's won both career starts versus the Giants with a 1.59 ERA, and is facing them for the first time since a road win with Milwaukee in 2008.
The Giants will counter the two-time Cy Young Award winner with one of their own in Tim Lincecum (10-13, 4.40).
Unlike Sabathia, Lincecum is putting together a strong stretch, going 4-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five starts. It's the right-hander's longest winning streak since going 6-0 over nine games bridging 2009 and 2010.
He got a great deal of help in order to keep his streak going Saturday, allowing three runs with six strikeouts in six innings of a 19-3 road victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Facing the Yankees for the first time, Lincecum is 1-5 with a 5.93 ERA over eight interleague starts in two years.
He's two strikeouts shy of becoming the seventh pitcher to get 1,500 with the Giants, and the first since Gaylord Perry in 1971.
San Francisco has won five of six following Thursday's 2-1 victory over the New York Mets. Rookie Juan Perez, who went to high school in New York, had a season-high three hits, a walk and an RBI in four plate appearances in front of family and friends.
He's looking forward to doing it again in front of even more relatives in the Bronx.
"That will be a crazy series for me, tickets-wise," the outfielder said.
Buster Posey is in a 1-for-21 slump over his last six games after going 0 for 10 in three versus the Mets.
The Giants will be the first team to finish with a losing record the season after winning the World Series since St. Louis in 2007.
- Sports & Recreation
- San Francisco Giants
- New York Yankees
- San Francisco
- CC Sabathia