Sunday, April 14, 2019

When Sabathia pitches well, the Yankees are transformed (but that's the problem)

Ladies and gentlemen, we ask you to rise, remove your caps and join the IT IS HIGH color guard in center field for a moment of reflection, as we salute America... 

Let us cease our incessant bickering, dickering, finger-pointing and caterwauling, and observe the magnificent gift that Mr. CC Sabathia bestowed upon us yesterday: A fully operational time-machine, which whisked us back to 2009, the last great year to be a Yankee fan. 

Ahh, 2009... Nobody had ever heard of Daenerys Targaryen, or Instagram, or Kickstarter, or driver-less cars, or avocado toast. The Rooskies were our enemy, and the Canadians were our pals. And CC Sabathia was the man we could always count on to break a Yankee losing streak.

Yesterday: Five innings, one hit, no runs. And the end of a four-game barf.

When Sabathia pitches well, the planets line up, the juju gods stand down, and the Yankees play the way Yankees are supposed to play. All is well, regardless of who is perched on the Injured List. 

Trouble is, when CC is hurt, or compromised, or simply pitching poorly, the Yankees revert to being a team with a five-inning starter going tick-tick-tick, while its overly ballyhooed bullpen tries to diffuse the bomb with a claw hammer. And no matter how well he pitched yesterday, it's not 2009, the White Walkers have breached The Wall, the Mother of Dragons cannot save us, and we can never go back.

The fact is, CC was slightly out-pitched yesterday by Ivan Nova, a guy the Yankees dealt for Stephen Tarpley, (who was sent to Scranton the previous night.) In the 2016 midsummer meltdown sale, we traded Supernova for whatever we could get - (the human bowling ball, Tito Polo, was also acquired; he's now rolling around in the Mariners Triple A outfield.) Over the last three years with the Pirates, Nova compiled a 3.99 ERA - a performance that would have made him our fourth starter. (He certainly would have topped Michael Pineda, who is currently 2-0 with the Twins.) But it wouldn't have mattered. We still wouldn't have won a damn thing. 

Still, one karmic quality of being a Yankee fan is that all great Bombers eventually receive a final day in the sun. For some, it comes on Old-Timers Day, and - for sure - CC will receive a thunderous ovation next summer, when his name is called, and he hobbles - bone on bone in his power knee - to the mound to doff his cap.

But yesterday, he made us remember how great a Yankee he has been. Now comes the hard part. You may now put on your caps and sit. WAIT A MINUTE, DAMMIT, WHO OUT THERE WAS TAKING A KNEE?


Parson Tom said...

CC Sabathia seems to be our best pitcher? Boy, we are in trouble.

JM said...

I agree, Padre. But here we are. At least he's a very likable guy. I'd hate to have an asshole like Clemens to rely on. Though when we did have him, I was glad to see him, even though he was an asshole.

ranger_lp said...

@JM...but he was OUR asshole.....

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

JM: You managed to sum up my personal feelings about Clemens -- perfectly.

...this does not mean I want to see him in the Hall of Fame.

I know it was the White Sox on Sat., but I certainly was shocked that our somewhat overweight kneeless geezer pitcher (now equipped with a stent) could go 5 innings (and yield just 1 hit).

I didn't know what to expect from the guy, but this was incredible.

Also a pleasant surprise: NYYs pitched 9 innings, yielded ZERO walks.

Anonymous said...

Nova (definitions)

1) Spanish for No go.

2) A particularly crappy American made car frequently used as a punchline. Second only to the AMC Pacer. Maybe the Yugo. It's hard to get accurate stats on this kind of thing. Now that I think about it the Vega ranks in this category as well.

3) A pitcher who was unable to establish any kind of consistency as a Yankee and gave us all agita every five days. Glad he's doing well. Glad he's gone.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

It was nice to see...and also nice to see our guys flash some leather behind him.

Not-so-nice to see was how Nova dominated us. Guy with a 5.28 ERA, and he was just throwing the ball past us.

Even beyond their constant swinging for the fences, our hitters seem truly baffled by all kinds of pitches: mediocre fastballs right down the middle, any kind of curve, etc.

It makes one, again, wonder about the instruction...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Anyone think Tyler Wade would do better with a ferocious, "Game of Thrones" type nickname?

Maybe, "King in the North," or "Mother of Dragons"?

Something tells me he's going to be stuck with "The Sparrow"...