That was the OLD C.C Sabathia. Well...I know he's old now - as in age. But his performance, was the OLD Sabathia.
From the beginning of the game, popping 93 to 94-mph on his fastball. The slider looking crisp; dotting the outside corner. And getting swings and misses on the change-up! I saying to myself: Woah, where is this coming from!?
Tonight, was Sabathia BEST performance of the year. Matter of fact, his best performance in two years. That was vintage Sabathia.
No, he was the 'vintage Sabathia' where he'd go eight innings, but mechanics wise, that was the best I've seen him. John Flaherty was in the booth for the YES Network and he was spot on when he said the Boston Red Sox hitters were taking bad swings. He was right. That's what I saw differently tonight, compare to his past starts. Regularly, batters would take easy, quick swings at Sabathia's stuff. That wasn't the case in today's game.
Sabathia's Line: 6.0 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 3 BB, 8 K's
Ever since Sabathia has lost his velocity and sharpness on his off-speed pitches, just by the way the pitches looked when it would hit the catcher's mitt, looked hittable. Let's be honest, he's been throwing slop out there. That's why I was so blown away by -- not only his good performance, but by the way his mechanics looked. Sabathia rarely had fly ball out tonight.
Listen, I understand the Red Sox are playing poorly this year, but we've seen Sabathia look worst against weaker lineups. This Red Sox lineup still has big names in it.
Boy, if the Yankees can get Sabathia pitching like this from now on -- boy, would that be huge. The Yankees need a lefty in the rotation for the season, and if they get there, in the postseason. Since 1996, the Yankees have never been made it or won the World Series without lefty Andy Pettitte. That tells you they need at least ONE lefty starter in the postseason.
I understand Sabathia is not gonna turn the clock to 2009. He's not gonna all of sudden pop 97-mph off his fastball. But if he can get a little of sharpness back, and he's smart enough with veteran swavy, and has postseason experience, that's all he'll need to be successful again. And most importantly, that's all the Yankees would need to be successful.
Great win, with the Yankees winning another series, but a better win with having C.C Sabathia looking like his old self again. Very uplifting.