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First Pitch: Can CC beat the Rays?

CC Sabathia owned the Rays in his pre-Yankees days. Now? Not so much. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia has been about everything you could have asked for as a free-agent signing. In his first four years, Sabathia's averaged an 18-7 record and a 3.22 ERA.

Even this season, for all his struggles, he is 7-5 with a 3.93 ERA. If he heats up in the second half, he may just finish close to his usual numbers.

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia

#52 SP
New York Yankees

2013 STATS

  • GM15
  • W7

  • L5

  • BB21

  • K89

  • ERA3.93

But for some reason, CC struggles against the Tampa Bay Rays, whom he faces at 1 p.m. Saturday. It hasn't always been that way.

Prior to becoming a Yankee, Sabathia had been great versus the Rays. He was 7-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 81 innings over 11 starts. With the Yankees in 20 starts, he is 3-10 with a 4.08 ERA in 139 innings.

The guys who really give Sabathia trouble are Evan Longoria and Sean Rodriguez. Longoria has a 1.247 OPS in 45 at-bats. Rodriguez has a 1.072 OPS in 40 at-bats.

UP NOW: I have full blog on Zoilo Almonte's amazing night. Plus, Ian Begley with a notebook led by Ivan Nova's reemergence.

ON DECK: A 1 p.m. start, Sabathia will be opposed by Alex Colome (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Begley, Mike Mazzeo and Johnette Howard will have you covered.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will CC end up the greatest Yankees free-agent pitching signing ever?