After today's near no-hit performance by CC Sabathia, we learned that Kelly Shoppach, who broke up the no-hit bid, would have been the last batter CC faced, no matter what.
According to the LoHud Yankees Blog, Joe Girardi told pitching coach Dave Eiland that CC would throw no more than 110 to 115 pitches. The pitch that Shoppach hit was CC's 111th.
What if Shoppach hadn't gotten a hit? A silly question, really, because CC would have come out of the game anyway. There would be no hard feelings between him and his manager. The fans (and, perhaps, the media) on the other hand would be another story.
I was listening to the game on the radio and I heard how much the fans were rooting for CC to get it done. Chants of "Let's go CC' reverberated throughout Tropicana Field. Imagine the boos that would sweep through the stadium if Shoppach had made out. Girardi would be vilified. Imagine the back pages of the papers tomorrow. Girardi would be second-guessed. Instead, all's well that end's well.
Joe Girardi is one lucky dude.