CC Sabathia Finally Hits Big Time; Acquires Already Tired Postseason Rep

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Even though the Indians had an improved second half and got to play as spoilers in a handful of meaningful stretch run games, I have to believe this season was still not a happy one. Picked by many people to return to the playoffs, they stumbled hard out of the gate and ended up losing CC Sabathia for no immediate help. The "new" ace they locked up to a long term deal, was promptly injured and underwhelming.

All in all it was a tough year, so I could forgive Bud Shaw's moment of schadenfreude if it weren't so clearly portending an unfortunate addition to Sabathia bio.

It's not that Sabathia can't win the big game. He won several for the Brewers down the stretch. It's that he can't win the biggest games.

You didn't need to see him fail to get out of the fourth inning in Game 2 to know the Indians made the right move in trading him. By dealing in early July as opposed to waiting until the trade deadline, they maximized their return. Sabathia showed up in Milwaukee the next day and was ready to pitch five minutes later.

The deal for Sabathia was one of the best mid-season acquisitions in baseball history ... right up until he couldn't retire Philadelphia pitcher Brett Myers. If it's not about being tired, as he maintained, then two years of the same results in October -- last year it was 15 earned runs and 13 walks in 15 1/2 innings -- it's about something happening in his head.

Thanks a whole lot, Bud. On the basis of what is still a small sample size, 5 starts, you're helping to dictate the talking points for Sabathia's next ten postseason starts. Can't you hear Joe Buck's condescending staccato recitation now?

"And tonight. On the hill. For. The Yankees. CC Sabathia. Trying to. Overcome. His postseason. Demons. Tim. This reminds me of that. Rhianna song. Someone please. Give me a talk show."

In 25 career postseason IP, Sabathia has allowed 22 ER. A rough patch to be sure, but what Shaw is really talking about isn't even the totality of his post season career. It's only the last 3 starts. In his first two postseason starts for the Indians ('01 and '07) ALDS, he only gave up 5 runs in 11 IP and picked up two lopsided victories. Yes, Sabathia got knocked around in these last 3 starts versus the Phillies and Red Sox, but his teams scored a combined 5 runs. That'll tend to focus a lot more criticism on the guy in the mound.

My point here, and there is one I swear, is that yes, CC Sabathia has had a rough couple of October starts. But he is continuing to grow into one of baseball's most dominant starters, and may rival Santana for the best lefty in the league next season. In an era where oversimplified storylines are the only ones that get any play, latching onto "Sabathia chokes in the playoffs" seems a bit unfair, and most likely shortsighted.


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7 Comments

I think it's unfair that you clearly photoshopped Sabathia's torso to appear 84 inches in circumference.

Don't worry, Rob, pinstripes make people look slimmer.

I heard he also eats babies.

♫Roll out the barrel♫

CC just isn't the same C.C. now that he's off his period.

@ Chief: in 2001 a then-Yankee's coach and I were talking about CC and he said something about how some organizations just don't care about how effing fat their players are, but the Yankees do.

The next year they re-signed David Wells - so I totally expect to see CC in Yankee pinstripes next year.

Kid: the Yankees also forbid moustaches and steroids unless your name rhymes with schiambi.

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