It’s always important to avoid losing streaks and the New York Yankees are lucky to have CC Sabathia as the man who ends them.
With such a young team, losing streaks can be just as debilitating as winning streaks are confidence-building. Thankfully for the New York Yankees, they have a veteran left-hander in CC Sabathia to help ensure skids are stopped dead in their tracks.
The 36-year-old extended his season record to 7-2 and lowered his season ERA down to 3.66 thanks to a winning effort in each of his last five starts dating back to May 16. Over that span, Sabathia owns a 1.11 ERA with 31 strikeouts compared to just six walks and an opponent’s batting average of .212.
His latest victory was a downright masterpiece — eight shutout innings against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday en route to an 8-0 victory. It was the first time since September 21, 2012, the lefty went eight innings without allowing a single run and it continued what is currently a sensational stretch for the 17-year-vet.
“Feels good,” Sabathia said following the win. “Especially against [the Boston Red Sox]. With [Rick] Porcello on the mound obviously all the games we play against the division are big games so we wanted to get a win tonight.”
The win not only continues what has been a continuance of what has been a career renaissance for the former Cy Young award winner but it continued the narrative of Sabathia’s ability to pick his team up when it’s down and be the leader manager Joe Girard desperately needs.
Each of his last five wins has come following a Yankees loss and Sabathia is 6-0 with a 1.25 ERA (43.1IP, 6ER) in seven starts following a Yankees loss this season.
Sabathia’s five wins over his last five starts not only matched the longest streak of winning starts in 2017 (also Masahiro Tanaka, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Alex Wood) and his longest streak of winning starts since winning five straight starts in early 2012, but it also shows that the Yankees are getting just a little more than a re-invented CC Sabathia. They’re getting the dependable competitor they need while their ace struggles to find himself.
“I just try to out every time and give my team a good chance to win,” Sabathia said. He says he doesn’t think about it, but when New York’s number one starter is posting a 10.72 ERA and 11 home runs over his last five starts, one can’t help but appreciate the work Sabathia has done for the Yankees here in 2017.
“He’s been that guy his whole career you could turn to when you needed a big win and he still does it,” Girardi said. “There’s a lot of heart in that guy. You go back to when he was throwing every fourth day [for the Milwaukee Brewers] trying to win a champ for another team to what he did for us. We’ve always seen that.”
This doesn’t mean Girardi should declare Sabathia his ace — which is the opposite of what he’s been since 2013. They still need to figure out what’s going on with Tanaka and work to prepare their rotation for a legitimate run at the postseason.
So far, however, Sabathia has given them exactly what they needed: a veteran to show youngsters like Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino the ropes and be a stabilizer.