(Not the look you want to see. Courtesy of the AP)
One of the more surprising things to read after last night's game was that CC Sabathia was up to 14 HR allowed on the season. Even though I've spent plenty of time noticing and writing about how much more hittable he was this year, I honestly didn't realize it was that high. That's 4th most in MLB and 2 more than resident Yankee "HR Giver Upper" Phil Hughes.
In tying this new trend to the rest of the major CC-centric talking points this season, I think this elevated HR rate (currently a career high 13.9%) can be linked directly to the drop in fastball velocity. Not only have 7 of the 14 HR allowed come against his 4-seamer, 11 of them have come against right-handed hitters. They're the guys squaring up CC better this season than ever before, and it makes sense that they'd be doing so against CC's diminished fastball. Just one more hurdle the big fella has to overcome as he makes the transition away from being a power pitcher.