Struggling CC hasn't lost Girardi's confidence

Cutter could be culprit in Yankees veteran's issues since promising start to season

Struggling CC hasn't lost Girardi's confidence

CINCINNATI -- Veteran left-hander CC Sabathia struggled for a fourth straight start Tuesday, allowing five runs on seven hits in the Yankees' 5-3 loss to the Reds. Sabathia was 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA after three starts to start the season, but he's 0-2 with a 9.58 ERA since. 

After Tuesday's loss, which snapped the Yankees' six-game winning streak, manager Joe Girardi was asked if he still had confidence in Sabathia.

"Plenty," Girardi said. "Plenty."

Why? 

"Because I've seen what he's done," Girardi said. "I saw what he did last year. I saw what he did his first three starts this year. He'll find it." 

The encouraging thing Tuesday was all the damage came in the second inning. Sabathia allowed all five runs on six hits -- all singles -- and a walk in that frame. He then retired 10 in a row and 13 of 14.

"He didn't find his cutter until later on," Girardi said. "Once he did, things got a lot easier."

The cutter is key. That's what Sabathia said has led to his struggles -- both Tuesday and overall. 

"Later in the game it was better," Sabathia said. "In that second inning, for whatever reason, it was leaking back over the plate. I made an effort to get it later in the game, and it helped me out."

John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.