CC Sabathia takes a tumble off the mound while throwing pitch

Most difficult tasks look incredibly easy to athletes. If you’ve ever seen Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons play, you know what we mean. Simmons’ genius is that he can make difficult plays look routine, and impossible plays seem possible.

It’s not just Simmons, though, it’s all athletes. Every incredible thing they do sees carefree and effortless.

Because of that, it’s always a shock to see a world class athlete look un-athletic on the field. These players train tirelessly to be among the best in the world. When they make one mistake, it’s jarring.

That’s precisely what happened to New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia on Thursday. In the sixth inning of Thursday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, Sabathia took a tumble off the mound while attempting to throw a pitch.

CC Sabathia takes a tumble. (Getty Images/Elsa)
CC Sabathia takes a tumble. (Getty Images/Elsa)

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During the replay, it’s apparent that Sabathia’s spike got caught in the dirt during his windup. That’s what caused him to lose his footing and hit the ground. The umpires ruled a balk on the play.

For a moment, Sabathia looked less like an elite athlete, and more like what would happen if Brad from accounting got on a pitcher’s mound.

Any time a pitcher gets a spike stuck in the dirt, there’s concern about an injury. Sabathia was unscathed physically. We can’t say the same about his ego, though.

While Sabathia was able to get out of the inning without the balk hurting him, he did surrender two runs in the seventh. All told, he allowed four runs over 6 2/3 innings, and was charged with the loss as Baltimore beat New York 4-1.

On top of all that, it was Sabathia’s birthday. So, uh, Happy Birthday, CC. Here’s hoping the second part of your special day goes a lot better than the first.

(BLS H/N: Deadspin)

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik