MLB New York Yankees

New York Yankees’ C.C. Sabathia Roughed Up In Return To Miller Park

C.C. Sabathia New York Yankees

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

C.C. Sabathia was a force of nature in his abbreviated stint with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008, dominating the National League. On Saturday night, Sabathia returned to Miller Park as a member of the New York Yankees, but did not fare particularly well in a 5-4 Brewers win.

The big lefty has gotten off to a pretty miserable start in 2014. In seven starts before the game in Milwaukee, Sabathia had compiled a bloated ERA of 5.75 along with a 1.45 WHIP. Sabathia has been extremely hittable this year, with his opponents batting a robust .298 against him. While Sabathia had struck out 44 batters in his 40.2 innings going into Saturday night, something that seems to indicate good stuff, the other numbers are difficult to ignore.

This apparent regression is not a recent phenomenon, as Sabathia had his difficulties in 2013 as well, allowing more hits than innings pitched for the first time in his lengthy career while sporting an ERA of 4.78. It appears that the massive workload that Sabathia has endured over the years may be finally catching up to him as he approaches 34 years of age.

Sabathia enjoyed a brief but memorable half-season in Milwaukee after leaving the Cleveland Indians back in 2008. The lefty won 11 of his 17 starts, three of them shutouts, with an ERA of 1.65 while carrying the Brewers to the postseason for the first time in 26 years. He was particularly dominant at Miller Park, going 6-0 with an ERA of 1.78. However, 2008 was a long time ago, and these past performances have little to do with Sabathia’s current reality.

The former Cy Young Award winner was not awful in his return to Miller Park, but he was not particularly effective either. Sabathia went 5.1 innings, allowing eight hits and four runs, although only one of them was earned. Sabathia has been prone to the big inning this season, and Saturday night was no exception. After a Brendan Ryan error with two outs in the third inning, Sabathia allowed homers to Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez, two of the three long balls he gave up on the night.

With Michael Pineda on the disabled list and Ivan Nova lost for the season, the Yankees’ rotation is a bit of a mess at the moment. The Yankees desperately need the old Sabathia to resurface, but with each performance it is beginning to look like this may no longer be a possibility.

Chad Quates is a Chicago Cubs writer for Follow him on Twitter @chadquates or add him to your network on Google.