Well, CC Sabathia is now 2-0 in the National League as he threw a gem on Sunday, the last game before the All-Star break. And the Brewers absolutely needed it.
Milwaukee had lost the first two games of their series against the Cincinnati Reds, and were in danger of getting swept at home. Enter Sabathia.
His day didn't start out the way he wanted it to, as he got in trouble in both the 2nd and 3rd innings. However, he only allowed one run in each inning to make the Brewers deficit at just 2-0 after three innings.
Oh, and Sabathia can hit too. In his first at bat in the game, he hit a long drive that stayed fair and landed beyond the right field wall for a solo shot. It was his third career home run, and second of the season. National League beware, CC Sabathia can help his team from both sides.
Milwaukee tied it up at two in the sixth when Gabe Kapler lined a double to left center which scored J.J. Hardy.
After the score got back to even, Sabathia seemed to get stronger on the mound as he got a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh. Looking at the Brewers' lineup for the seventh, it seemed like Sabathia would leave with the game tied.
Mike Cameron struck out though, Jason Kendall grounded out to shortstop and Ned Yost had a decision to make.
With no one warming up in the bullpen and two quick outs, Sabathia was sent up to the plate to stay in the game and finish what he started. Sabathia grounded out to third.
The eighth inning was about to spell more trouble for Sabathia once Jeff Keppinger singled bringing Adam Dunn to the plate. Dunn lined a shot right to Prince Fielder, who caught the ball as he stood on first base for the double play.
Brandon Phillips then singled, Edwin Encarnacion walked (Sabathia's one and only) and Ken Griffey Jr. was brought in to pinch hit. Sabathia struck out the future Hall of Famer and made his way back to the dugout.
The Brewers failed to score in the eighth and Sabathia was sent out to pitch the ninth.
Sabathia didn't record a strikeout until the fourth inning, but struck out the side in the ninth as Corey Patterson, David Ross and Joey Votto all went down swinging. Sabathia pumped his fist emphatically as if to say, "OK guys, I held them as long as I could, let's win this thing."
Milwaukee loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth and eventually won it when Craig Counsell hit a sac-fly to left off the first pitch he saw from closer Francisco Cordero.
In all, Sabathia had a much more effective outing than his debut on July 8. He went all nine innings, allowing eight hits and just four after the fourth inning. He again gave up just two earned runs and had nine strikeouts, with only one walk. Sabathia threw 122 pitches, (he entered the ninth with 111), and logged 82 strikes. That's 67 percent of his pitches being some kind of strike.
CC has now shown fans that he can take over a game at any moment whether it be on the mound or at the plate.
These four days off will allow everybody to get a much deserved rest, especially big ol' No. 52 as the race to win the NL Central will definitely become even more dramatic in the second half.
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