(Sports Network) - CC Sabathia has lost just twice in his last 16 interleague starts, and tonight the big southpaw gets an opportunity to push the Yankees to a road series triumph against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Sabathia owns a 17-7 record with a 3.57 ERA in 38 career interleague starts, all against National League opponents. He's also won nine of his 11 such decisions, but has struggled when facing the Cubs as evidenced by his 1-2 mark and gaudy 5.76 ERA in four starts. Sabathia would hope to have a repeat performance from the last time he pitched against the Cubs. That came on September 28, 2008 at Miller Park in Milwaukee. In that game, Sabathia recorded a four-hit shutout.
The win-loss ledger for Sabathia against the NL is strong, but equally as impressive is his last six starts, during which time he's compiled a 5-1 mark with a 3.04 ERA. He already owns one of the lowest road ERA's among AL pitchers at 2.28 and is coming off throwing seven frames in a home win against Texas on Tuesday. Sabathia has also won his last four road starts.
Not having the designated hitter tonight could actually benefit the Yankees, as Sabathia is a .258 career hitter with three homers and 14 RBI. In fact, his eight runs batted in during interleague play are the most all-time for an American League pitcher.
Randy Wells counters on the mound for the Cubs. The 28-year-old right-hander is coming off a six-inning start against Milwaukee on Tuesday when he allowed eight hits and a pair of earned runs in a no-decision.
Wells, who will face the Yankees for the first time in his career, is 2-3 with a 4.95 ERA in seven interleague starts.
Eduardo Nunez went 2-for-4 and drove in the decisive run in the ninth inning, helping the Yankees edge the Cubs, 4-3, yesterday at Wrigley Field.
Both starters pitched 5 1/3 innings and figured into the decision -- New York's A.J. Burnett (7-5) allowed two runs and got the win, while Chicago's Ryan Dempster (5-6) gave up three runs and took the loss.
"We played hard today, we played a great game," Dempster said. "It's nothing to hang our head about. We had a chance in the ninth inning against Rivera to get something going, but he just made some good pitches."
The Yankees are 147-104 in interleague play. However, just two of those wins have come at Wrigley Field.
Chicago is 100-110 in interleague action.