Sunday, August 7, 2011

Will CC Sabathia snap out of Red Sox funk?

Of course, I'm disappointed by CC Sabathia's performance against the Boston Red Sox last night. But with the New York Yankees still tied for first place in the American League East, my concern isn't about last night. I'm concerned about October.

Barring an epic collapse, both the Yankees and the Red Sox will make the postseason and have a strong chance of facing each other for AL supremacy in October. If the Yankees do make it to the American League Championship Series, as they have in the past two years, CC Sabathia will once again be the Game 1 starter, which against most teams would be cause for celebration, but is becoming somewhat of a concern against the Red Sox.

Do the Saux simply have CC's number? It sure looks like it from the numbers they put up against him. Consider yesterday, which started out promising with quick, scoreless innings from both starters before the Red Sox erupted for seven runs against the Yankees ace. What was most disturbing to me was that the Yankees offense had managed to tie the game at 2-2 (thanks to some nice clutch hitting from Eric Chavez), but CC was unable to shut the Red Sox down.

If it was one bad game against the Red Sox, I wouldn't even write this post. But really this is the third time he has pitched poorly (he lost another game in the 7th inning after pitching brilliantly for the first six innings) against his team's archrival, a club that the Yankees are likely to meet again in October. If the Yankees are going to beat the Red Sox in the playoffs, they need CC to step up and be the ace he is against the rest of baseball.

At least CC seemed to know exactly what went wrong yesterday and still sounds like he believes he can beat the Red Sox. I would worry a lot more if Sabathia was completely baffled by his Red Sox struggles.

But if CC wants another ring to go along with his well-earned 2009 championship jewelry, he is going to have to figure out a way to snap out of his Red Sox funk.

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