(Damn rain. Courtesy of The AP)
I'm really starting to run out of things to say to describe the job CC Sabathia is doing this year. I said way before the season started that I wasn't going to get involved in the "will he or won't he?" opt out talk, but I'm going to break that commitment right now and just say that the Yankees would be complete fucking morons to not get a new deal done with him before he even has the chance to opt out. He's that good and they need him.
It helped that he was basically pitching against a Double-A lineup last night, but that still doesn't take away from how brilliant CC was last night. Through 5.1 innings CC hadn't allowed a baserunner , had 11 Ks, and had only thrown 62 pitches. That's beyond dominant. That's beyond perfect. That's downright inhuman. He had to wait through a 30-minute rain delay before he lost the perfect game in the 7th to a legit single, and then waited through another 15-minute delay that really cost him as he lost his command after that in the 8th. The Mariner hitters certainly didn't do anything to halt his miracle working on the hill last night. The only person/thing that could halt it was another miracle brought on by Mother Nature in the form of rain. What a whore she is.
Even with the 2 delays and 3 walks that he handed out in the 8th, CC's final line was still mind-bogglingly good:
7 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 14 K (Career High), 102 Pitches (71 Strikes), 82 Game Score
He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 25 batters he faced, and racked up 19 swinging strikes (26.76%). The fastball was working, the slider was downright murderous. It almost didn't matter whether he had the rest of the team out there behind him playing defense. It was the type of performance that you tell your kids about later in life if you were at the game.
With all due respect to the Justin Verlanders and Jered Weavers of the world, if CC is not the leading Cy Young candidate right now, then something is seriously wrong with people. He has a better FIP (2.49) than both of them, more wins (MLB-leading 15) than both of them, and a higher WAR (5.6) than both of them. He's pitched more innings than anybody in baseball except for Verlander, strikes out more guys than Weaver, and does it for a better team that has arguably a weaker staff, making what he does more valuable to his team's success than either of the other 2. And last night was the perfect example of just how valuable he is.