Monday, April 13, 2009

Outing 2: Fixes mechanics, regains fastballs, has a strong bounceback

7.2 IP 6 H 0 R 0 ER 0 BB 6 K 0 HR 108 PITCHES (WIN)

Sabathia and pitching coach Dave Eiland talked about mechanics. They changed how Sabathia specifically landed on his front foot. The film comparisons were showing that his stride was too long and that could have thrown off all of his mechanics. Subsequently on Saturday CC regained the good old velocity we are used to seeing, throwing the high heat at 96 mph. He cruised through 7.2 scoreless. He could have stayed in longer but with a strong lead Girardi played it safe. Smart thing to do

"Fastball command, getting ahead of guys. It felt a lot better than the first game"

Next game should be very interesting. New stadium opener, and it's against the CC-less and winless Indians. The Tribe's lineup always scares me and they've got to have very detailed pitching reports on CC (who's pitched 94% of his games with them).

On a sidenote --- A sub plot to the series will be: Will we see American Idle give up 9 ER in 1 IP again (as he did in Texas last week)?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Outing 1: No fastball=no strikeouts. He'll be fine next time

4.1 IP 8 H 6 R 6 ER 5 BB 0 K 0 HR 95 PITCHES

Certainly not a quality start yesterday. But calm down. You can't realistically expect 33 quality starts. Sabathia has always been a slow starter, has never fared well in openers and it's his first time he's starting off with a new team. And it's a big contract, high expectations. Truthfully the the damage could have been a whole lot worse if Nady didn't make the spectacular pitch to prevent more runs from scoring or if Albadejo didn't get Zaun to fly out with 2 of CC's inherited runners on.

The most alarming part of his line was 0 k's. Sabathia’s last start without a strikeout was July 25, 2005 at Oakland. But for what it's worth he had 21k's in 19 IP in the Spring and we saw the velocity we were used to seeing. But this speaks to the cause for the bad outing: CC clearly had no fastball and was trying to do much without his full repertoire of pitches. CC without the fastball is too easy to beat because the O's sat on his curve and slurvy-slider all 4+ innings. As Mohammed Ali (also CC...Cassius Clay) said "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee". He needs to float with all 3 of his pitches to sting. He hit the numbers on the gun all Spring so he'll be back and strong.

We could sit around and second guess Girardi for leaving him in after the 3rd (to protect CC's psyche from the NY media which is now questioning if he can pitch) but as a veteran who's shown he can dominate it's not a concern. Unlike the Big Unit - CC is younger, in his prime and already seems more of a leader in the clubhouse.

Some quotes from the big guy:

"I definitely feel like I let us down today...It's disappointing to come out, first start, and have a bad game like this. ... It's not what I imagined...I've been through this before," he said. "It is one start. I go back out in five days and try to be better."

Friday, March 6, 2009

Game Action tonight...finally!

Excited to see 'Big Slim' will start his first game of the spring on Friday against Detroit at Big Stein field (First night game of the Spring infact). The beggining of an era indeed.

Still waiting to see the lineup for the Tigers. Over the last 3 year years, CC has struggled against Detroit (5.25 ERA) who he saw a lot (9 games). Molina will be his battery mate for the game.

On Monday CC had a tune-up and threw to hitters for the first time, throwing 2 simulated innings.

Sabathia threw 28 pitches, 19 that looked like strikes. He faced Cash three times and Matsui twice. The only hit was a single by Matsui

"Just get a feel for it. It was the first time throwing to guys without a screen up," Sabathia said. "It felt good...It usually takes a while for it to get right...I'll just keep working at it and hopefully it's ready for the season."
Sabathia located his fastball well but did not keep his cutter low enough in the strike zone. He talked that over with pitching coach Dave Eiland.

Other off-field updates: CC chums it up with other pitchers
-CC was spotted at a Magic game where he has been a regular, with Wang and Joba
-Lastly here's a pic of him riding the Toy Story Mania 3-D ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Sunday.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

CC Sabathia gets on the mound

CC is back in action after some intestinal discomfort yesterday. He threw BP today. With exhibition games starting earlier this season, CC will not be in next week's rotation. The Yankees will hold Sabathia, Burnett, Wang and Pettitte back until late next week.

Posada, was impressed: "What I saw was just a heavy ball...The ball was coming good. I like the hesitation that he's got now in the middle of his windup; I think that helps him a little bit...I'm really excited."

CC threw fastballs, changeups and observers got a glimpse of his slider (which he perfected last season under the tutelage of formers Brewers pitching coach and brother of Greg Maddux, Mike Maddux). CC described the slider in his workout as "pretty good" which is always good for Feb 21st

The big guy can learn a lot from Pettitte and Posada about the winning culture from the teams that went all the way.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

CC Sabathia sits down to chat with Hannah Storm of ESPN

Incase anyone missed it...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sabathia at WWE Raw

While we begin counting the days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training and as we continue to see the media feast out on the A Rod chronicles, CC made an appearance at WWE Raw in Oakland.

The big guy sure loves live fights. He was also in attendance at the De La Hoya/Pacquiao fight in Vegas during the winter meetings (a battle between 2 guys who collectively weighed in at approximately CC's weight)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Parallels between Obama and Sabathia

Fittingly on inauguration week - Stephen Rose over at Huffington Post, wrote a great piece drawing on the parallels between the President and CC Sabathia.

"It got me thinking about expectations. Sabathia must be the most expected person in baseball. And surely Barack is the most expected person period...Sometimes, when challenges rise, a certain grace emerges, some extra positivity to help achieve a good result...We are all in the same boat. The challenges we face are no less important than theirs when seen... from a distance. And our overcoming is no less momentous".

I really think this is a valid comparison and it'll be interesting to see how both lefties perform on their respective hills!

Yankees state of mind

Sabathia's definitely seems to be getting his mental pinstripes on, just a month before suiting up for Spring Training.

Here's a picture from CC's Christmas party which had a blatant Yankee theme.

Also, I like this quote that he gave the other day about how he is prepared to deal with the craziness and pressure of the Bronx fishbowl:

"If you ask anybody in my family or anybody that knows me, I don't think there's any outside pressure that could be put on me that I don't put on myself...I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to go out there and perform and expect to win every game, expect to pitch well in every game."

CC wins 2nd Spahn!!

The big guy picked up his 2nd consecutive Spahn award on Sunday. The award, named after the winningest southpaw with the high-kick wind-up and arguably one of the most cerebral players to play the game, is based solely on numbers and is awarded annually to the best lefty in the game. CC has now won 2 of 10 possible Spahn awards since the accolade was introduced in 1998. The amazing thing that comes to mind is the strong correlation between winning the Spahn award and winning the Cy Young award: Big Unit got both pieces of hardware in the same season 4 times, Santana did it twice and Sabathia also did it once (2 seasons ago). It's not hard to argue that CC should have won the NL Cy last year too, considering his pivot role in pedaling the Brew Crew to the playoffs.

“I started out playing right-handed,” Sabathia said. “I was throwing right-handed, I was hitting right-handed and I was like the worst kid out there.”

The story goes that Sabathia used to play first base and was reaching down for a ground ball that wound up hitting him in the chest. A few days later, his father brought home a new glove so he could play left-handed. The rest was history.

“C.C. Sabathia is not only an outstanding major league athlete, he also has dedicated himself to serving those less fortunate, which is also the mission of Rotary,” Spahn Gala chairperson Bill Hickman said.

And he's right on the money. New York will love him off the mound as well. As a dog lover, I absolutely dig how he joined Peavy, Zito and Swisher last week in contributing money to La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation. Way to go CC! More athletes need to join La Russa's endeavor to help our canine friends and to serve as a positive role model!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sabathia helps Epstein

Article below from Lohud Yankees Blog:

It will take only a well-placed fastball for the angry words to start. But in January, the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox can be set aside for a good cause. CC Sabathia understands that.

Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and his twin brother Paul run The Foundation To Be Named Later, a charity that helps out disadvantaged kids in Boston. Their biggest fundraiser is the annual Hot Stove, Cool Music concert, which was held last night.

Before the show, Epstein hosted a roundtable discussion for fans at Fenway Park. Guests included Dustin Pedroia, Justin Masterson, Terry Francona, Peter Gammons and Rays outfielder Fernando Perez.

Sabathia participated via telephone from California. This was the same event Brian Cashman attended last year.

Pretty cool of Sabathia to do that.

Virtual look at CC

Compliments of MLB The Show 09, here is an early digital look at #52 on the hill at the new stadium