"Here's a ground ball. Durham to Hardy to Fielder! Brewers Win! Brewers Win!" The words still ring through my ears. Brian Anderson, the Brewers' play-by-play announcer spoke the magic words on the final day of 2008, a day in which the Brewers made the playoffs. Finally.
This was just one of many great moments brought to you via CC Sabathia. The larger than life southpaw put the Brew Crew and all of Milwaukee on his broad shoulders and carried them to the Promised Land, the playoffs.
The truth is that the Brewers wouldn't have made the playoffs if it weren't for CC. Now he's gone to New York as another player to give in to Steinbrenner's money, but Brewer nation will never forget his remarkable half-season with Milwaukee.
There is no doubt in my mind that what CC did during the stretch run was the most incredible September performance in baseball history. He went on three day's rest for three straight games and propelled the Crew into October baseball.
Here's a look at some of his super-human performances on the mound.
In his first game, CC received numerous standing ovations and went 6 innings allowing three runs and picking up the W. CC fever was buzzing in Brewtown.
On July 13, in his second game, he began his day with a solo shot to right field. CC grew stronger as the game grew on, striking out the side in the ninth in what was a tie game. A Craig Counsell sac fly won the game.
In the first game after the All Star break, CC dazzled once again. In San Francisco, he mowed down the Giants. CC went a full nine innings for the second straight start and allowed only one run on four hits. He fanned 10 and also doubled and scored.
The date was July 23 when America noticed CC had a knack for complete games, especially in Milwaukee. Against the Cardinals on this day, he threw a complete game shutout. He had a no-no through five and two thirds and gave up only three hits and struck out seven.
Yes, he had to change jerseys because one was so soaked with sweat, but that didn't stop him from being typical CC. A first inning run was the only bump he faced and went eight and one third allowing two runs and receiving another win. Prince Fielder backed him up with two homers.
The date was August 8, and the Brewers were beginning a four game series at home against the lowly Nationals. CC took full advantage of their hitting woes and blanked them in nine innings. It was his second shutout of the year. CC was officially the darling of Milwaukee after this gem that included nine strikeouts.
Not a complete game gem, but CC's seven inning, one run beauty gave him seven straight wins as a Brewer. He had only given up three runs in August and continued his pattern of only pitching only incredible, shut down the other team games.
After CC threw yet another complete game against Houston, CC threw a game to be remembered for generations. Let this one go down in history as the no hitter that wasn't.
Sabathia took the mound on August 31 at Pittsburgh. He rolled along and the only blemish early in the game was a Andy LaRoche "base hit." Official scorer Bob Webb called LaRoche's little dribbler that CC muffed a hit. CC went on to finish the game with a one-hit shutout. The Pirate fans chanted for a no hitter but the MLB didn't change the official scoring. Anyway, it was a beauty by the lefty.
Last, but certainly not least was CC's final day performance, the last in Miller Park as a Brewer. He gave up an unearned run in the second inning, but that didn't affect him at all. Ryan Braun came up with another big hit as CC finished it off with an exclamation mark. Sabathia ended up with seven strikeouts on only four hits. The double play he induced from Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee was the biggest pitch of the season, in my opinion.
So here's to you, CC Sabathia. Milwaukee will never forget you. Please visit Miller Park again soon. Good luck in pinstripes!
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