After finally catching up to the powerful Boston Red Sox, with the two teams tied for first, the New York Yankees have unfortunately fallen back to the second-place position in the AL East standings. With the Yankees not too far behind, it will be no difficult feat for the team to advance in front of the Sox, especially with their ace pitcher CC Sabathia pitching the Bombers to first.
Sabathia has only improved his noteworthy reputation this season by continuing to be the reliable and dominant pitcher he always was. The starting pitcher is once again nominated for the CY Young Award, continues to lead the MLB in wins, maintains an impressive 2.81 ERA and has possessed consistency for his New York team.
I was lucky enough to interview the down-to-earth pitcher on Wednesday at the MLB Fan Cave, where we discussed his involvement with the Pepsi MAX, Field of Dreams Campaign, his decision to remain in New York, the improvements needed to advance to the playoffs without the Wild Card and more.
Here is what we discussed.
Question: Including the postseason, you’ve already won 61 games as a Yankee in less than three seasons. What has allowed you to adjust to the pressures and distractions of New York better than other new arrivals?
Answer: I don't think it is a lot of pressure. You know, you got a lot of great players around you and you feel like you just go out and do your job. That takes a lot of pressure off you, you know? You have guys who pick up the slack. You have A-Rod, Jeter, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira—you have all those guys behind you, and it makes your job a lot easier.
Question: You’re known around the league as one of the biggest workhorses in baseball. What allows you to absorb as many innings as you do without losing your dominant stuff?
Answer: I think it is just being blessed with a good arm. I definitely work at it and take pride in it, but I am a guy who wants to be out there all the time and Joe knows that. He allows me to get out of certain situations to keep me in the game longer.
Question: You have recently gone 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Boston Red Sox. What do you feel you need to improve on as a pitcher to ensure future wins against the Sox?
Answer: By just making sure that I throw more strikes and to be more aggressive in the zone. Also, not getting any counts where they look for one pitch, that gets me in a tough spot.
Question: What do you and the team have to improve on to upend the Red Sox, and how important is it to you guys to not settle for the Wild Card?
Answer: I think it is very important (to not settle for the Wild Card). You always want to win in your division and get those home games in the beginning of the playoffs; it is good to play at home, especially during the playoffs. Our pitching has been pretty good, our defense is good, we're just missing Alex right now. If we can hold it down until he gets back, I think we will be fine.
Question: Who would you say is your toughest out?
Answer: I think Miguel Cabrera is a tough out, Dustin Pedroia. There are a few guys who are tough to get out.
Question: You have been nominated for a Cy Young Award. How does it feel to have your hard work recognized, and do you think you are going to win against the other top pitchers nominated?
Answer: It feels good and that would be great, but I would rather go to the World Series, you know? I would trade a World Series ring for a Cy Young Award any day.
Question: How have you and your family enjoyed your time here in New York? Do you see yourself retiring with the Yankees?
Answer: I hope so, definitely. I mean we love it here, our kids love it here, they are active in the community, they really love it here. Also, I love being a Yankee, so hopefully I can spend the rest of my time here.