CC expects to start Game 5, not 4

CC expects to start Game 5, not 4

ARLINGTON -- As the Yankees prepared to board their flight back to New York, CC Sabathia departed with the impression that he has a date with the Yankee Stadium bullpen on Sunday, believing that he remains in line to pitch Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.

There has been some speculation that the Yankees could potentially move Sabathia up, allowing manager Joe Girardi to bypass A.J. Burnett, who has been announced as a probable Game 4 starter. But Sabathia said on Saturday that he hasn't heard anything of the sort.

"I haven't even thought about it, to be honest with you, [because] they announced we're going four-man [rotation] this time around," Sabathia said.

Girardi had no thoughts toward a change in his postgame comments, saying, "Right now, we are on rotation. So, I mean, I haven't discussed that with anyone. I mean, we are on rotation. ... Let me just get on the airplane first, and we'll meet tomorrow."

But Sabathia said that even if he throws his bullpen session on Sunday, it would not necessarily preclude him from starting Game 4 on short rest. Sabathia threw 93 pitches in a four-inning start in Game 1, a no-decision.

"Whenever they tell me I'm pitching, I'm pitching," Sabathia said. "It doesn't matter if I throw a bullpen [session] tomorrow or the day before I pitch. If they want me to take the ball, I have no problem with that, and they know that."

Sabathia said that there is a precedent in his career for such a scenario. On Sept. 20, 2008, while with the Brewers, Sabathia made an emergency start in place of the injured Ben Sheets for Milwaukee at Cincinnati. He allowed four runs (one earned) on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings, taking the loss in a 4-3 defeat.

"I just went in, was told I would pitch and had thrown my bullpen [session] like normal," Sabathia said. "I don't think it affected me at all."