Brett Myers rankled Sabathia with a pesky at-bat and dominated the rest of the Brewers from the mound, and Philadelphia beat Milwaukee 5-2 on Thursday behind Shane Victorino's grand slam for a 2-0 lead in their best-of-five National League playoff series.
"I don't think starting on three days' rest had anything to do with it," Sabathia said. "I just didn't make pitches when I needed to."
Myers allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings, pulling the Phillies within one win of the NL championship series. Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero worked the eighth, and Brad Lidge had a suspense-free ninth for a change.
Pitching on three days' rest for the fourth consecutive start, Sabathia had his worst outing since joining the Brewers in a trade with Cleveland on July 7.
The burly left-hander allowed five runs and six hits -- all for extra bases -- in 3w innings. He walked four, his second-highest total of the season.
"When you've got a guy like CC on the ropes you've got to take advantage," Victorino said.
Now, Sabathia might have to wait six months for his next start. And, that might be in a different uniform. The 28-year-old will be one of the most sought-after free agents at the end of the season.
Sabathia was 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 17 starts for Milwaukee, almost single-handedly leading the wild-card Brewers to their first postseason berth since 1982.
He was uncharacteristically erratic in the second inning and the Phillies took advantage. Jayson Werth lined a one-out double to left-center and Pedro Feliz followed with an RBI double down the left-field line to tie it at 1.
After Carlos Ruiz grounded out, Myers kept the inning going by working a walk. Digging in, choking up and crouching, Myers drew cheers for fouling off a 1-2 pitch after wildly missing the first two pitches. He fouled off two more during the at-bat and earned a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd that understood the importance of making Sabathia throw more pitches.
Sabathia then walked Jimmy Rollins on four pitches to load the bases. That brought up Victorino, who had a career-high 14 homers this season. Victorino fell behind 1-2 before driving a hanging cutter into the seats in left to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead.