CC Sabathia has an issue with the Boston Red Sox bunting against him. But Eduardo Nunez couldn’t care less.
Nunez bunted his way on base in the first inning of the New York Yankees’ 6-2 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night, and Sabathia, who committed a throwing error on the play, took exception to the move after the game, calling it “weak” and insisting that his American League East rivals “swing the bat.”
This isn’t the first time the Yankees pitcher, who spent time on the disabled list in August with inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee, has complained about the Red Sox bunting this season. And who knows? It might not be the last if Boston and New York ultimately hook up in the postseason.
But Nunez made it clear after Thursday’s contest that he doesn’t care what Sabathia says. The Red Sox infielder has no plans to change his game moving forward.
“It’s my game,” Nunez told reporters in the Bronx, per NJ.com. “I cannot change my game. We know he has a bad knee, but it’s not my problem. I can’t change my game. I have to try bunting.”
“We don’t have any guys that have 30 homers, 100 RBI. So we play smart,” he added. “We play the little game and if he has issues with the bunting, he has to work now. That’s our game. We don’t have any power. We have to work. We have to bunt. We have to hustle. It’s our game.”
At 37 years old, Sabathia is no spring chicken. He also has the knee issue, which certainly complicates matters as far as running off the mound and fielding his position. So in that sense, it’s understandable why Sabathia might be a little annoyed by the Red Sox’s strategy, which makes life more difficult for the veteran left-hander. But isn’t that the point? After all, the Red Sox are trying to win games here.
“I did,” Nunez acknowledged when asked about apologizing to Sabathia later in the game. “I did. I say, ‘I’m sorry, but I have to do it. It’s my game.’
“We know he has a bad knee. I feel bad for him but if I have to do it twice, it’s my game. It’s my job. It’s my teammates. If I have to bunt four times in a row, I do it. I don’t care if he’s mad or not. It’s what it is. Compete and figure it out.”
To his credit, Sabathia has been excellent against the Red Sox this season, improving to 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA in four starts spanning 26 innings against Boston with Thursday’s victory. So really, what’s he complaining about?
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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