Warming up prior to the second inning at Land Shark Stadium, Sabathia was visited by manager Joe Girardi and trainer Gene Monahan, after catcher Jorge Posada told them that Sabathia's pitches were lacking their usual velocity. Although Sabathia insisted that he was fine, Girardi and Monahan kept a close watch on their $161 million pitcher.
Moments later, Sabathia threw a pitch up in the zone that Marlins outfielder Brett Carroll whacked into left field for a double. Girardi had seen enough.
"I just felt like he wasn't able to finish his pitches," Girardi said. "That's why we took him out."
A consultation with Marlins doctor Dan Kanell gave Sabathia the impression that he was suffering from a case of biceps tendinitis. Regardless, the Yankees classified it as nothing more than tightness, and scheduled no tests.
If Sabathia feels better after receiving treatment Monday, he will play catch Tuesday and throw his regular bullpen session Wednesday. If not, the Yankees will reevaluate him and determine whether an MRI exam or another test becomes necessary.
To accommodate A.J. Burnett's five-game suspension, Sabathia's next start had been moved up to Friday at Citi Field in Queens.
"We'll have to make that evaluation Tuesday," Girardi said.
If the Yankees are to succeed this season, they'll need him to make both that start and many others as the summer progresses. Sabathia, who signed a seven-year deal worth $161 million as a free agent last winter, entered his start leading the Yankees with a 3.67 ERA and 100 2 /3 innings pitched.
Fighting with Girardi to remain in the game, he eventually relented and steamed off the mound.
By the time the Yankees had completed their 6-5 loss to the Marlins, Sabathia's stance had somewhat softened.
"It was disappointing to not be able to finish the game, or to at least pitch as long as I could," he said. "It's early. It's June. I feel like I've got a lot more starts to make, so I understand him wanting to play it safe and make sure I can make my next start.
"I was trying to fight to stay in. But Joe looked at Jorge and was like, 'His stuff's not the same.' So he took me out."
Sabathia said that he often felt a similar sensation in his biceps during bullpen sessions between his starts -- but never during a start. As a result, he was altering his follow-through and leaving pitches high in the strike zone, which tipped off Posada that something was amiss.
"He was up in the zone a little bit in the second inning, and that's not something you usually see in CC," Girardi said.