Want to get under CC Sabathia’s skin? All you have to do is bunt.
The New York Yankees left-hander pitched six solid innings Thursday night to lead his club to a 6-2 win over the Boston Red Sox in the Bronx. After the game, though, Sabathia had a bone to pick with Red Sox second baseman Eduardo Nunez, who reached base in the first inning on a bunt attempt that resulted in a Sabathia throwing error.
“It is kind of weak to me,” Sabathia said of Nunez’s bunt attempt, via ESPN.com. “It is what it is. It just shows what they’ve got over there.”
The 37-year-old recently spent time on the disabled list with a knee injury and isn’t particularly mobile to begin with, and apparently he took umbrage with Nunez trying to exploit that fact.
“I think they think I’m a bigger guy and I can’t field my position,” Sabathia said. “I’m an old man, so they should go out and want to kick my butt. I just feel like they tried to take the weak road.”
So, did Sabathia view Nunez’s bunt as a sign of disrespect?
“Too much respect,” Sabathia said. “It’s scary. I mean, let’s go. Let’s play. Swing the bat.”
Sabathia’s criticism is a bit perplexing, considering A) Nunez dropped his bunt in the first inning, and B) the utility man is a contact hitter who often tries to bunt for hits — and has done so several times this season. The veteran left-hander also has dominated the Red Sox this season with a 4-0 record and 1.04 ERA over four starts, so it’s quite strange why Sabathia would be offended by an opponent trying to get on base against him.
Then again, this isn’t the first time this season Sabathia has been irked by Boston trying to play small ball.
Nunez said he apologized to Sabathia after the game but added he’d “100 percent” bunt off him again if needed.
“If I have to bunt four times in a row, I’ll do it,” Nunez said, via ESPN.com. “I don’t care if he’s mad or not. That’s what it is. I have to compete, and he has to figure it out. Play in. Or field the ball. I don’t care.”
Thumbnail photo via Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports Images