New York Yankees: Is CC Sabathia Reverting Back to Ace-Like Form at Right Time?
Before Wednesday, Sabathia hadn't won a start since August 24, posting an 0-3 record in five starts.
However, over the last two starts, the Yankees ace seems like he has reverted back to his old form.
In his previous start against the Oakland A's back on September 21, Sabathia went eight innings, allowed no runs on three hits, walked two and struck out 11.
Sabathia left the game with a 1-0 lead and would have picked up the win, but Rafael Soriano allowed a game-tying home run, thus leaving Sabathia with a no-decision.
Despite the no-decision, for the first time in almost a month, the Yankees ace pitched like the ace the Yankees are paying a lot of money for.
On Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins in the series finale at Target Field, Sabathia again gave the Yankees an ace-like effort, going eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits, walking one and striking out 10.
This time, Sabathia got the win as the Yankees didn't blow the lead in the ninth and took the game 8-2, which improved Sabathia's 2012 record to 14-6.
Not only is Sabathia pitching like an ace, but he's getting back to being the strikeout pitcher as well, posting double-digit totals in the past two games.
Sabathia's hot streak couldn't come at a better time for the Yankees, who have seven games left in the regular season, while holding a 1.5-game lead on the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.
In a one-game series, would you trust giving the ball to CC Sabathia?
If the Yankees are going to do anything in October, they are going to need their ace pitching exactly like this.
Back in the 2009 postseason, Sabathia pitched very well for the Yankees, posting a 3-1 record and receiving the 2009 ALCS MVP award. He also had a 2-0 record against the Los Angeles Angels.
When Sabathia doesn't pitch well in the playoffs, the team doesn't go far. In the 2010 ALCS against the Texas Rangers, Sabathia posted a 6.30 ERA, and the Yankees ended up losing in six games.
In the 2011 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, Sabathia struggled again, posting a 6.23 ERA and the Yankees ended up getting eliminated in five games.
Now, of course, the Yankees hitters need to hit better with runners in scoring position, and the Yankees also need to rely on Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes to come up with big starts.
But Sabathia is the trend-setter of the team. When he wins, so do the Yankees.
And if the last two starts are any indication of how Sabathia will be pitching the rest of the way, then the Yankees should be in great shape heading into some important games.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.
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