When CC Sabathia walked off the mound for the final time in his career on Thursday, New York Yankees fans’ reaction made the hefty lefty cry.
Sabathia left New York’s ALCS Game 4 loss to the Houston Astros with a career-ending injury. But the tears in his eyes weren’t birthed by pain or disappointment:
“I think that’s what got me more emotional than actual injury,” he told NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty. “Just hearing the fans and the way that they were cheering me and it was just — makes me feel good. Makes me feel like I made the right choice 11 years ago. I love these fans. I love this organization. It was just awesome to hear that and get that on the way out.”
The southpaw suffered the injury on his final pitch to Almedys Diaz. His next four pitches, thrown to Astros outfielder George Springer, were minor miracles:
“When I was throwing those pitches to Springer, I couldn’t even look up to see where I was throwing the ball,” he told Kuty. “I was just letting it go and whatever happened.”
We love you CC 🙌 pic.twitter.com/R4REMF29sy
— R2C2 is UNINTERRUPTED (@R2C2) October 18, 2019
Jonathan Loaisiga relieved Sabathia, finishing off Springer with a strikeout.
Sabathia played in just two games for the Bombers during the 2019 postseason, both relief appearances. He finished his career with a 4.28 ERA in 130.1 postseason innings pitched.
However, Yankees fans will always remember Sabathia for leading the Bombers to their last World Series title in 2009. That’s one reason they showed him so much love during the tough loss on Thursday.
Now it’s on Sabathia’s teammates to complete an ALCS comeback in Houston. Down 3-2 with Gerrit Cole lurking in a potential Game 7, it seems unlikely; however, the emotion from Sabathia and the fans just might give the Yankees the edge they need.