"I got in some two-strike counts but couldn't make that last pitch [to] get some ground balls to get these guys off the bases," Sabathia said. "Just not a good day, but I'll be ready for my next start."
Sabathia had been the best pitcher in baseball over his previous seven starts, holding opponents to four earned runs in 44 innings (0.82 ERA), but the Rockies knocked him around for six runs (five earned) in a 4 1/3-inning no-decision on Wednesday.
Unable to make Chase Headley's second-inning grand slam hold up, Sabathia surrendered a three-run homer to Nick Hundley in the fourth inning that put the Rockies up, 5-4.
It was just the third home run allowed by Sabathia in 69 2/3 innings this season, and the left-hander said that Hundley teed off on a cutter that leaked back toward the middle of the plate.
"When you're throwing the cutter, everybody's looking for it," Sabathia said. "And if you don't get it in there, that's what happens."
Sabathia said that he felt the ankle get "weak," leading to his stumble on a pitch to Arenado in the fifth that prompted a visit from the trainer. He was lifted after he induced Carlos Gonzalez into a fielder's choice for the first out of the inning.
"I thought he was struggling today, so once he turned his ankle, the back of my mind is thinking, 'Is the ankle part of it?'" manager Joe Girardi said. "And I just decided to make the change."
Sabathia said that he was receiving treatment in the clubhouse when Starlin Castro hit his first career walk-off home run in the ninth.
"That's awesome; that's huge," Sabathia said. "I just wish I could have been out there to celebrate with him, but that's fun to watch."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com
since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.