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Yankees banking on Sabathia

The SportsXchange

The New York Yankees will take the field Friday in a do-or-die Game 5 against the Orioles, the winner advancing to face the Tigers in the ALCS on Saturday. There's nobody New York would rather see on the mound than CC Sabathia.

The big left-hander will start against Orioles righty Jason Hammel, a rematch of Game 1. Sabathia was clearly the dominant pitcher, throwing 8 2/3 innings of two-run ball to pick up his eighth career postseason victory.

"It's time to go; this is what you play for," Sabathia said. "That's a good team over there we've been battling all year, so hopefully I can go out and have a good performance and keep us in the game and give us a chance to win."

Sabathia held the Orioles to two runs on eight hits and one walk, striking out seven in the Game 1 victory. He used his changeup to keep Baltimore's hitters off balance, and it's a pitch he insists will be key to him getting through Game 5.

"It's always important for me," Sabathia said. "It's a pitch that I've developed since I've been in the big leagues, and it's become a great pitch for me. I have to be able to use it in certain counts and throughout the game. I will definitely look to use it and have to use it as a weapon."
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