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Well-rested CC faces phenom Price

Well-rested CC faces phenom Price

NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia doesn't care when he pitches next. He knows his turn in the rotation will come eventually. But the way things have gone lately, who knows when that day will arrive.

Sabathia was supposed to pitch on Thursday against the Rangers, but the Yankees pushed him back to insert Chien-Ming Wang into the rotation. Friday's game against the Rays was rained out, so Sabathia will have to wait again to get back on the mound.

The weather in New York is supposed to clear up by Saturday, so the Yankees should be able to begin their three-game set against Tampa Bay. Sabathia will be on six days' rest -- not like it matters to him.

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"I don't care," Sabathia said. "I'll pitch tomorrow."

Sabathia rode a stationary bike on Thursday to stay fresh. After Friday's game was called, he said that he would play catch and then relax before Saturday's contest. He was prepared for the rainout and knew there was a chance he would have to wait another day.

"I had a feeling," he said. "It's been raining all day."

The Yankees sure want to get Sabathia back on the hill. The left-hander has been every bit the ace they had hoped for when they signed him to a long-term free-agent contract during the offseason.

In his past five starts, Sabathia has gone 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA, allowing just nine runs in 39 innings. He has worked at least seven innings in each outing, including a complete-game shutout in Baltimore on May 8. He has not faced the Rays this season.

Friday's rainout delayed the much-anticipated matchup between Sabathia and David Price, Tampa Bay's lefty phenom, who is considered one of the top prospects in baseball. In his last start, on May 30, Price allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts against the Twins.

Nevertheless, Sabathia is more concerned with what he has to do, not who will be pitching for the other team.

"I knew that he was pitching today, and people were going to make a big fuss out of it," he said. "I'm not hitting off of him, so I'm more worried about their lineup than with what he does."

Pitching matchup
NYY: LHP CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.46 ERA)
Sabathia had a victorious return to Cleveland in his last start, on Saturday, hurling seven innings of three-run, five-hit ball in New York's 10-5 victory over the Indians. He had great command of his fastball and changeup and later worked in his other pitches, as he and catcher Jorge Posada established better rapport. He has won his last four decisions and has not lost since May 2, vs. the Angels. He will be facing Tampa Bay for the first time this year.

TB: LHP David Price (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Price rebounded from a disappointing season debut to dominate Minnesota for his first regular-season win last Saturday. The 6-foot-6 hurler showed flashes of the potential that has had Rays fans drooling since he reached the Majors last September. The command of his fastball, which he struggled with against Cleveland, appeared to be much better against the Twins. He still threw 108 pitches, though, something he will need to tighten up to pitch deeper into games.

Tidbits
Injured reliever Brian Bruney threw a bullpen session on Friday and said that he felt fine. There is still no timetable for his return, but he thinks he could be available to pitch in less than two weeks. ... Damaso Marte, another injured reliever, threw 25 pitches off a bullpen pound, including some sliders from a close distance. ... Xavier Nady threw from 75 feet and played in a rehab game on Friday. Manager Joe Girardi called it "a good sign."

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• YES

On radio
• WCBS 880, 92.7 WQBU (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Yankees (Joba Chamberlain, 3-1, 3.71) vs. Rays (Matt Garza, 4-4, 3.67), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Monday: Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 5-2, 4.33) vs. Rays (Andy Sonnanstine, 4-5, 7.07), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Yankees (A.J. Burnett, 4-2, 4.69) at Red Sox (Josh Beckett, 6-2, 4.09), 7:10 p.m. ET

Jared Diamond is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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