CC Sabathia is “So” Back, Has You Thinking Hall of Fame Again

CC Sabathia has had a bad knee. Started a few years ago. Not Kobe-Bryant-bone-on-bone but bad. He’s had surgery. He lost weight to put less weight on the knee. He didn’t have the hard fastball at the lower weight so he purposely put the weight back on.

Last Year — He Was Coming Back

He talked with Andy Pettitte. A lot. About how to get hitters out without your hard stuff anymore. Last year, CC started to look a lot better. The results weren’t there — a 6-10 4.73 season — but he was much better in the second half. Couldn’t buy a win at times; giving the Yanks 6 or 7 good innings but losing. Then one weekend afternoon, Andy Pettitte day, with Pettitte guesting in the radio booth with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman for an inning, CC threw a beautiful, hard sinker — his best of the season according to Pettitte, and on the next pitch had to leave the game. It was the knee again and looked devastating. Season over.

But he was back 3 weeks later — and continued to pitch well. So well that when the season ended, CC was being counted on for heavy usage out of the pen if not the 4th starter spot. Then came his revelation that he was having substance abuse problems – the morning of the first playoff game. And he was gone again.

This Year — He Is Back

This season — he is Back. Looked decent in spring training. As the season started, he was ok, but start after start was pitching better and better. Then a two-week spot on the DL, and last night — he was overpowering. The old CC. He is now 3-2 3.41 and last night won his 100th game as a Yankee. He is now 217-131 lifetime. And this morning, he has you thinking again about his Hall of Fame-ness.

CC Sabathia and the Hall of Fame

In my opinion — he is no doubt a Hall of Famer. He was one of THE dominant pitchers in baseball for over 10 years. He has won one Cy Young Award, should have won two. Should have won in 2010, could have won in 2009 or 2008.

Five (5) times CC has been in the top-5 voting for Cy Young. That makes you a Hall of Famer straight away; hands down. Five (5) times he has been in the top 15 in MVP voting even though he’s a pitcher. That’s a measure of how he dominated baseball at his peak.

He has been a Great Yankee free agent acquisition — being a main part of their 2009 World series title — which should give a player a key to the city for life, and pitching great for the first 3 years of his 9-year contract, pitched well in year 4, battled thru knee injury in years 5-7, and this year — year 8 appears headed for a good year.

CC is not going to get 300 wins, which somewhere along the line became some idiotic measure of Hall of Fameness for a starting pitcher — mostly based on performances in the 1970’s when, after the DH was invented, pitchers were throwing 30 complete games a year — winning 20 and losing 15. A lot of good pitchers accumulated a ton of wins and 300-game winners were dropping out of a hat. Even Phil Niekro has 300 wins, as does Don Sutton — and they weren’t the dominant pitcher CC has been.

Later This Year

Can’t wait for each CC start now. The old man (only 35 years old by the way maybe he Can win 300) could become the ace of the staff if he keeps pitching like this and the knee holds up. CC right now leads the Yankee staff in ERA (3.41 to Masahiro Tanaka’s 3.51). He has 3 wins (Tanaka has 1; Nathan Eovaldi leads the staff with 4).

(Last year CC led the Yankee starters in Games Started and Innings Pitched by the way. )

Last Night

Last night CC was dominant. After the game he said it was his best outing in more than a year. “I was able to make pitches and I felt like I got better as the game went on,” said Sabathia. “The two-seamer command wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be but just being able to throw my off-speed pitches for strikes and get some swings and misses was good.”

CC made the defensive play of the game, whirling off the mound to grab a bunt and firing to first for a big out with a runner on 3rd to end the 2nd. The knee seems to be ok. CC got stronger as the game went on — motoring thru the Oakland lineup in the middle innings. Just check out the play-by-play.

The Yankee offense supported CC — an 8-3 win over Oakland in Oakland:

CC Sabathia Career Numbers:

Year Age Tm W L ERA GS CG SHO IP H BB SO Awards
2001 20 CLE 17 5 4.39 33 0 0 180.1 149 95 171 RoY-2
2002 21 CLE 13 11 4.37 33 2 0 210.0 198 88 149
2003 22 CLE 13 9 3.60 30 2 1 197.2 190 66 141 AS
2004 23 CLE 11 10 4.12 30 1 1 188.0 176 72 139 AS
2005 24 CLE 15 10 4.03 31 1 0 196.2 185 62 161
2006 25 CLE 12 11 3.22 28 6 2 192.2 182 44 172
2007 26 CLE 19 7 3.21 34 4 1 241.0 238 37 209 AS,CYA-1,MVP-14
2008 27 TOT 17 10 2.70 35 10 5 253.0 223 59 251 CYA-5,MVP-6
2008 27 CLE 6 8 3.83 18 3 2 122.1 117 34 123
2008 27 MIL 11 2 1.65 17 7 3 130.2 106 25 128
2009 28 NYY 19 8 3.37 34 2 1 230.0 197 67 197 CYA-4,MVP-21
2010 29 NYY 21 7 3.18 34 2 0 237.2 209 74 197 AS,CYA-3,MVP-13
2011 30 NYY 19 8 3.00 33 3 1 237.1 230 61 230 AS,CYA-4,MVP-14
2012 31 NYY 15 6 3.38 28 2 0 200.0 184 44 197 AS
2013 32 NYY 14 13 4.78 32 2 0 211.0 224 65 175
2014 33 NYY 3 4 5.28 8 0 0 46.0 58 10 48
2015 34 NYY 6 10 4.73 29 1 0 167.1 188 50 137
2016 35 NYY 3 2 3.41 6 0 0 34.1 34 14 29
16 Yrs 217 131 3.69 458 38 12 3023.0 2865 908 2603
162 Game Avg. 16 10 3.69 34 3 1 224 213 67 193
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/21/2016.

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