C.C. Sabathia met with local media Friday, a day before he's scheduled to take the Progressive Field mound in pinstripes for the first time against his former teammates.
Through his first 10 starts Sabathia is 4-3 with a 3.42 ERA, including two complete games and a shutout. Yet, it hasn't been until his last four starts that he's really settled into a groove.
Sabathia has pitched through at least the seventh inning in every outing over that span and picked up three of his four wins while allowing no more than three runs.
The difference he said is as simple as it used to be here in Cleveland.
"I'm just throwing strikes," Sabathia said. "Early in the year I was getting behind and not making pitches the way I needed to. Now I'm just getting ahead and putting guys away."
Perhaps he was trying to do too much, as he commonly did in big games with the Indians (the playoffs two years ago come to mind).
"No, I just think I was all over the place," Sabathia said. "Sometimes I go through stretches like that. Last year I went through that the first two months of the year here."
As if Tribe fans needed a reminder that Sabathia's really good stretch last season didn't come until after he left.
* In other Indians-related news, Aeros left-hander Chuck Lofgren was promoted to Triple-A Columbus Friday.
After a disasterous 2008 season in which he left the game temporarily to attend to personal matters back home in California, Lofgren has been lights out this season.
He went 3-1 with a 1.48 ERA in eight starts with the Aeros to open the season. In 42 2/3 innings Lofgren struck out 31 batters and walked 15. Double-A opponents were batting just .160 against him.
The rumor is that Lofgren may just be making his Triple-A debut for just a spot start or two. But either way, the promotion is much deserved.
* And finally, as if the circus of having the New York Yankees and C.C. Sabathia in town isn't enough, guess who showed up to take batting practice with the Tribe?
Yep, you guessed it - Browns wide reciever Braylon Edwards.
What the ?!? Yeah, I know. My thoughts, too. Anyway, he wasn't half bad, even finishing his round with a homer over the left field wall. And guess what? He didn't drop his bat.