The Yankees' ace gutted through six innings Friday night (see below), but the A's young right-hander shut the Yanks down completely, leading to a 2-0 Oakland victory at Yankee Stadium.
It's only the second time the Yankees have been shut out this season.
The loss drops the Yankees to 17-11 -- 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East.
The A's improve to 17-13, 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West.
On the mound: The Yankees entered the game with a short-handed bullpen -- Joba Chamberlain went on the disabled list Thursday, and David Robertson was unavailable Friday due to a sore hamstring. Joe Girardi was hoping for length from Sabathia so he wouldn't have to rely too much on inexperienced relievers.
Sabathia did the best he could, throwing a season-high 118 pitches. But that got him through only six innings -- he wasn't particularly sharp, going to full counts on several batters. Still, Sabathia gave up just two runs on eight hits, with six strikeouts and two walks. Oakland's Adam Rosales drilled the very first pitch of the game, an 89 mph fastball, into the left field seats, giving the A's an early 1-0 lead. They scored their other run off Sabathia in his final inning, the sixth, thanks to a leadoff walk and a pair of singles.
Adam Warren relieved Sabathia and pitched three scoreless frames, giving up just a pair of singles and two walks.
At the plate: The Yankees mustered just six hits off Griffin, the 25-year-old who went 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 starts last season as a rookie. Jayson Nix was 2-for-3, with a double and a single. Robinson Cano had a double, the Yanks' only other extra-base hit. Brett Gardner had a pair of singles, and Ichiro Suzuki singled as well.
To be fair, the Yankees hit some balls sharply that went right at defenders. On the other hand, the Yanks still had their chances -- they were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Gardner led off the top of the eighth with a bunt single. That led to Griffin's exit, relieved by lefty Sean Doolittle, who was brought in to face Cano. Cano flied out to left, and then Doolittle got Vernon Wells to ground into a double play.
Milestone: This was the 1,000th game of Girardi's managerial career. The Yankees' skipper is now 574-426. He currently owns the 13th-best winning percentage all time among managers with at least 1,000 games under their belts. Of the 12 managers currently ahead of him, 11 are in the Hall of Fame. (The one exception is Jim Mutrie, who led the New York Metropolitans from 1883-1884 and the New York Giants from 1885-1891).