Two years ago the Yankees’ rotation was dubbed “CC & The Question Marks.’’

Today, the biggest question in the rotation is the largest member. If CC Sabathia doesn’t discover answers quickly the “Smoke & Mirror Act’’ that has carried the Yankees across the first seven weeks of the season won’t be enough.

“I am hurting the team, I am not helping the team out,’’ Sabathia said after absorbing an 8-3 loss to the Rays yesterday in front of 24,159 at Tropicana Field. “I need to get better.’’

Sabathia hasn’t won since April 27. Since then he is 0-2 with a 4.86 ERA in five starts.

When the Yankees’ clubhouse door was opened after the game, pitching coach Larry Rothschild was sitting with Sabathia at the pitcher’s locker.

Sabathia and Rothschild said their discussion “is private.’’ Yet, Sabathia’s struggles are very public.

His fastball, once clocked between 95 and 97 mph, now is in the 89 to 91 range. And since it is almost two months and 11 starts into the season, it’s safe to describe the 32-year-old lefty as a pitcher in transition.

Sabathia insists he is healthy and the drop in velocity hasn’t affected him. Instead, it was a lack of aggressiveness working inside that hurt him when he gave up seven runs and seven hits in seven innings and fell to 4-4. It’s the first time 2008 he has been .500 or worse this late in the season.

Sabathia was dinged by two cheap runs in the second inning. That changed in the third when a sinking fastball cut into Sean Rodriguez’s swing and turned into a two-run homer and a 4-0 lead. Two innings later, Sabathia intended to challenge James Loney with a 1-2 fastball in and missed. Loney turned that mistake into another two-run home run and the Rays were on their way to avoid being swept by the Yankees at home for the first time since 2005.