As long as CC Sabathia doesn't write messages on the baseball and throw it into the stands to some eye candy, the Yankees can expect their ace to hurl a gem Wednesday night and propel them to a Game 5.
Thanks to the distractions of A-Rod, or the 'Greatest Disappointment in Pinstripes' as he's better known, Sabathia carries the weight and pressure of pitching a mistake-free Game 4.
Fortunately for everyone in the Yankee clubhouse, CC is the best man for the job.
If it's more stats that you crave, Sabathia has gone 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 17.2 innings this postseason.
Remarkably, the Yankees have never lost in the six times Sabathia has started on the road in the playoffs—posting a 3-0 record with a 4.19 ERA.
The big lefty is also undefeated in his previous eight postseason starts.
Not to denote all those impressive numbers, but they don't mean diddly-squat, as baseball is played between the lines and not on paper.
Don't try telling that to fantasy owners though.
How else can you justify why a team like the Yankees is collectively batting .182 in the ALCS?
Does CC Sabathia need to throw a complete game shutout in Game 4 to give the Yankees a chance?
Despite all the offensive woes, Sabathia is a focused ace and Yankee fans have every reason to put their faith in him.
"I am definitely looking forward to getting a chance to pitch in this series," Sabathia said. "You know, I felt pretty good the last two or three times out and felt good in the bullpen, so I just look to continue to build off that, make sure I have my command down -- the fastball command -- and really work off that. But I always say, whether good or bad, I always put the last one behind me. I am ready for [Wednesday]."
In order to remain objective, Yankee fans should be aware that history is not on their side when they are facing a sweep in the playoffs.
The Yankees website illustrated that in the chart below.
THREE AND OUT?
|1922||World Series||Giants||Swept, 4-0|
|1963||World Series||Dodgers||Swept, 4-0|
|1976||World Series||Reds||Swept, 4-0|
The only member of the Detroit Tigers that potentially stands in Sabathia's way of throwing a complete game or shutout, is Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera is 10-for-28 with two homers, 12 runs batted in and eight walks off of Sabathia.
The Yankee ace isn't shying away from the challenge on Wednesday night in Game 4, expect him to spark the Yankees back into contention with a dominant pitching performance.