CC Sabathia Bookends Outstanding Season with Brutal Outings
When CC Sabathia introduced Yankee Stadium to the world in the regular season home opener, his $161 million paycheck was a real knee-slapper to haters everywhere.
Yankees don't lose home openers. They just don't. And in their new stadium's maiden voyage? No chance lance. But I guess the Indians never got this memo on April 16, because CC proceeded to start the Yanks' 2009 season with a 10-5 loss.
The unhittable was more than hittable. For about a month.
And then CC just kept getting better. And better. And once the team crossed into the post-All Star Game second half of the season, CC firmly ensconced himself in the Zone. His outings were consistently marked by playing deep into the game, remarkably economical pitch counts, low walks and high Ks. The 20-win season seemed not just attainable but probable.
SIgh. They lost 13-4 tonight in Tubbo's last regular season start. I guess the Yanks are nothing if not symmetrical.
Friday night's game against the Rays was even more lopsided than opening day. The final score of 13-4 doesn't even come close to capturing how overwhelmingly shelled poor CC got. And the final score definitely doesn't communicate the supreme surreal nature of everythig that went down in the factory warehouse known as The Trop.
You know something's not right when you're 1 hour into the game and CC looks like someone photoshopping Joba's pitching arm on CC's body. Somewhere Joba's looking at the line score, beaming and jumping up and down: "CC does Joba Rules, too! Everyone is doing them now!"
(And somwhere CC is thinking, "If using 40 pitches per inning is cool, then just call me Miles Davis!")
Seriously, what can I really say about this one? To be completely honest, I didn't have the heart or stomach to chain myself to the YES network for this one, especially with the Rangers (of the hockey persuasion) opening up last night
The whole "had to watch, like a car wreck" concept never really made much sense to me. I don't want to see a car wreck on the highway, and I don't want to see one on the mound.
Since there are no highlights to speak of, this will be quick...
I cannot drive this point home emphatically enough: I was 100% shellshocked that CC didn't get his 20th win. I keep rolling it around in my head until it starts to make me crazy, (which doesn't really take much)--the best team in baseball was playing a team that's been crumbling at a steady rate for the past 2 months.
They played their best starter against a rookie. A colossally dominant starter whose emaciated ERA over his last 11 starts suggested nothing less than another repeat performance. And a starter whose team run support is nearly 6 per game--the 12th highest in all league pitchers.
It never once occured to me that win #20 would escape poor CC. As the TV was nearly muted (hearing a bad game is infinitely worse than just seeing it), I didn't take note of the crowd reaction to CC's inexplicable implosion. Do the Rays have like a full-fledged fan base now? Or are they still defined by their lack of definition?
I hope no one booed him. I'm all for booing Joba Chamberlain when he gets chased in the 3rd inning, even when it's a meaningless post-clinching game. But CC deserved a win tonight (obviously, not based on his merit). But he's been a veritable hero for the Yanks all season, and I wish he had gotten it. But instead, he threw 82 pitches in a little over 2 innings, giving up 9 runs on 8 hits, only 5 of which was earned, and walking 5.
(Requisite due diligence: David Price is unbelievably good. Remarkable and special thanks go out to White Sox tonight for reducing chances of having to face the suped up turbo hi-tech model of David Price in game 1 of the ALDS.)
(Legitimate query: Did the Yanks hit their high mark with 7, in terms of the number of pitchers used in a 9-inning game this season? If so, I think part of Girardi is secretly brimming with pride. "I knew I could do it!")
The first run of the game was "manufactured" in the first inning, after our boy plugged up the bases with Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, and Jason Bartlett, and then walked their intimidating #6 batter Gabe Kaplar (who holds the distinction of being Nick Swisher's first major league strikeout. Where was Swish when we needed him tonight??)
That was run 1. And it just got uglier from there.
Nothing--seriously, NOTHING--made sense tonight.
Mark Teixeira had an error in the first inning.
Mark Teixeira got DRILLED in his first at-bat. It was scarier than seeing CC absorb a bullet line drive in his neck. And infinitely more infuriating.
94 $%^ing miles an hour. Directly at his head. No warning? Is there really any shadow of doubt what was the intent here? Yeah, if only CC hadn't unintentionally broken Carlos Pena's fingers...THEN the Rays would be contenders.
The Rays have now become the 1st runner-up in the MissErable Pagent, who will assume the duties of MissErable Team if for some reason the Red Sox cannot fulfil their responsibilities themselves.
Speaking of unfulfilling, the top two-thirds of our elite line-up was altogether hitless on the night. All 6 of the the Yankees' hits came off the bats of the bottom third.
To be clear, Jeter, Tex, Hairston ARod, Swisher, and Posada were all 0-fers. Cano, Gardner, Melky, Pena, and Juan Miranda all chipped in hits.(Miranda with the longest bomb the Trop's ever seen!)
But here's really all you need to get a handle on Friday's game: you know you're in for a total cesspool of backwards subversion when Jose Molina sees what a base looks like up close.
Everything's out of your system now, though, right?
(Oh, and B.J. Upton went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle or something.)