Sunday, May 9, 2010

CC delivers his message loud and clear

Despite superior pitching from his rotation counterparts, CC Sabathia stepped up yesterday and showed why he is the ace of the New York Yankees. Sick and tired of his hitters getting plunked by pitchers lacking control, he showed just how good his control was with a perfectly placed hit on Dustin Pedroia's booty.

Afterward, CC was directly asked if it was retribution for too many Yankees being hit by Boston Red Sox pitchers, but said it was a pitch that just got away. Of course, he has to say that or risk a suspension and fine from Major League Baseball. But we all know he hit Pedroia on purpose. A pitcher cannot let his best hitter and captain get plunked without consequences. And CC was probably the angriest guy on the Yankee bench when Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter got hit Friday.

As much as I hate to compliment our rivals, I must say that I thought Pedroia and the Red Sox handled it quite well. Pedroia simply ran to first base without looking at CC, there was no reaction from the bench and Victor Martinez quickly hit one of CC's next pitches over the Green Monster for a home run. So they got their revenge without letting it degenerate into a free-for-all. Of course, that payback was short-lived because they got smacked around on the field and lost the game.

For too many years in the Rivalry, Yankee hitters have been getting plunked with no retaliation because they didn't have pitchers willing to strike back. Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera would never hit a guy on purpose. Neither would Mike Mussina. But those days are gone. With one pitch, CC let Red Sox pitchers know a simple truth: hit my guys and I will hit yours. It's a message the Red Sox received loud and clear.

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