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'Dub' passes Moose, provides needed frames

MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- The Yankees careers of CC Sabathia and Mike Mussina sat adjacent but never overlapped, missing each other somewhere in the middle of East 161st Street while the organization shuffled their offices to the new Yankee Stadium during the winter of 2008.

Sabathia's first autumn wearing pinstripes produced the championship ring that Mussina never grabbed, but both hurlers both enjoyed Yankee tenures worthy of applause. They met in numerical fashion on Friday, as Sabathia touched two of the Moose's marks in the Yanks' 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Mariners.

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees careers of CC Sabathia and Mike Mussina sat adjacent but never overlapped, missing each other somewhere in the middle of East 161st Street while the organization shuffled their offices to the new Yankee Stadium during the winter of 2008.

Sabathia's first autumn wearing pinstripes produced the championship ring that Mussina never grabbed, but both hurlers both enjoyed Yankee tenures worthy of applause. They met in numerical fashion on Friday, as Sabathia touched two of the Moose's marks in the Yanks' 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Mariners.

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"You want to win these games now, especially coming down to crunch time," Sabathia said. "It's a team win. It's tough for us right now, but we'll bounce back tomorrow and try to win the series."

With Sabathia hurling seven innings of one-run ball, Friday marked Sabathia's 249th start as a Yankee, surpassing Mussina (248) for sole possession of 11th place on the franchise list. Sabathia's sixth-inning strikeout of Corey Seager marked the 2,814th of his career, moving past Mussina (2,813) for 19th place all-time in Major League history.

Video: SEA@NYY: CC passes Mussina for 19th all-time in K's

"Outstanding performance on CC's part," manager Joe Girardi said. "Seven really, really good innings tonight. I thought he had everything working. I thought his two-seamer was good, I thought his cutter was good, his breaking ball, his changeup. Just an outstanding performance."

Wearing "Dub" -- as in "Double C" -- on the back of his Players Weekend jersey, the Bay Area native said that he chose a pair of spikes with Golden State Warriors gold and midnight blue for the occasion.

"It was awesome. I loved it," Sabathia said. "It was fun. Just the shoes, and to see everybody else's nicknames and stuff, it's a lot of fun this weekend."

Video: SEA@NYY: CC, Yankees wear Players Weekend jerseys

The start was Sabathia's second since returning from the disabled list with what he initially feared might be a season-ending right knee injury. Instead, a mix of cortisone, platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections have helped him manage the discomfort.

Mike Zunino cracked a changeup for a fourth-inning solo homer, but otherwise, Sabathia was splendid. Seattle managed just five hits and a walk off the lefty, who struck out six.

It's the kind of performance the Yankees have hungered for; Sabathia is just the second Yankees starter in the last 29 games (since July 29) to complete seven innings. Since returning from the DL, Sabathia has permitted three runs and nine hits in 13 innings (2.08 ERA) against the Red Sox and M's.

"It feels good to be able to come out, and I just want to help the team," Sabathia said. "The knee is feeling a lot better, so hopefully I can just keep that going. I think all these games right now are crucial, the rest of the season."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia