CC Sabathia Si-Si-Sizzles Again
CC Sabathia has now won his last 11 starts overall, and is 8-0 since joining the Brewers, as he, and the rest of the Crew beat the Houston Astros 9-3 on Monday night.
He threw a career-high 130 pitches, allowing 11 hits, two earned runs and struck out nine, en-route to his fifth complete game for Milwaukee, and his eigth of the season.
Sabathia has not lost since June 5 with the Cleveland Indians, which means he was 3-8 at one point and almost written off by Indians fans.
Sabathia has been down-right ferocious since the trade, and has given Milwaukee the sense that playoff baseball will once again return to Brew City.
He started Monday, Aug. 18 with four scoreless innings against the Lee-and-Matsui-less Astros. On the flip-side, the Brewers' offense gave Sabathia a 6-0 lead after those four innings, and CC even helped himself out in that fourth.
Houston skipper Cecil Cooper decided to walk Brewers catcher Jason Kendall with two outs to load the bases for Sabathia. He calmly walked up to the plate, and immediately slapped the first pitch he saw to left field for two RBI.
Sabathia then allowed a solo home run in both the fifth and sixth innings, but the Astros still trailed 6-2.
After a one-two-three top of the eighth inning, it appeared that Sabathia would turn his 8-2 lead over to the bullpen, as CC was slotted to bat second in the bottom half.
But after a short conversation with skipper Ned Yost, Sabathia took his place in the on-deck circle. Jason Kendall hit a single down the line in right field and Sabathia would lay down his first sacrifice bunt since his rookie year in 2001.
Sabathia took the mound for the ninth and did his job, but the defense could not get outs from the ground balls hit by Houston. This allowed to an unearned run and the Astros loading the bases with two outs to bring Lance Berkman to the plate.
Ned Yost thought very hard about taking Sabathia out of the game, but decided to leave the ace out there.
Well he got Berkman to ground out to third and end the game, but he also threw more pitches than he absolutely had to, and that's a growing concern for all Brewers fans.
Will the overuse of Sabathia result in him shutting down come September and October? Sabathia has thrown atleast 103 pitches in all but one of his NL starts.
There is good news though. Sabathia was hitting 95 mph consistently in that ninth inning Monday. Also, the Brewers have three scheduled off days in the next week and a half, giving Sabathia some extra time to rest that powerful left arm.
Sabathia now has an NL ERA of 1.60, and adds two hits, and two RBI to his season totals.
The south-paw should make seven more starts this season and has the possibility to go 15-0 in the NL. Even if he loses, or gets a no-decision, can CC really win the NL Cy Young in three months time?
As Kevin Garnett would say, "Anything is possible."
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