NEW YORK -- The Yankees battery consisting of Russell Martin and CC Sabathia is back after almost four months apart. Martin caught the Yankees' ace on Friday against the Mariners for the first time since April 11 -- Sabathia's second start of the season.
Backup Chris Stewart had caught every Sabathia start since, although manager Joe Girardi repeatedly expressed his desire to get Martin back with Sabathia.
"I knew I had to do it sooner or later," Girardi said. "It was just time to do it."
Girardi considered reuniting the tandem in a late-June game against the Mets, but Martin experienced lower back stiffness that kept him out of the lineup, and by the time the catcher was back, Sabathia was on the disabled list with a left groin strain.
Stewart caught Sabathia's three starts since the lefty's short stint on the disabled list, but Martin will be the everyday backstop in the postseason, and Sabathia will continue to be the ace. Stewart can still expect consistent playing time, as he caught every Freddy Garcia start since Garcia returned to New York's starting rotation.