The New York Yankees are back at it again. They’re winning games, playing great baseball, and putting themselves back into playoff contention, like they have at a few points this season.
The one question everyone is asking happens to be very simple: are the Yankees for real, or are they just messing with us again? The answer to that question lies in the hands of one man – C.C. Sabathia.
Let’s think about this: where would the Yankees be this season if Sabathia was having such a terrible year? What if he didn’t have an 11-10 record, or a 4.83 ERA?
Well, let’s look at where the Yankees are now. They enter play on Saturday trailing the Oakland Athletics by three and a half games in the American League Wild Card. Only three and a half games. But you look at C.C.’s 11-10 record and you can contribute that to the problem.
What if instead of an 11-10 record, Sabathia was 15-5 – a record that would reflect his better years on the mound, and a record the Yankees were hoping he would give them this season.
With a better record, you could almost guarantee that the three and a half games back, would look more like three and a half games up in the Wild Card.
Now I can sit here and harp on Sabathia’s season long struggles all day, but there’s no point in preaching that. What I can say is this: Sabathia has won his last two starts, although last Sunday against the Boston Red Sox came at the price of six runs on seven hits.
Tonight in Tampa, he’ll be facing off against David Price for the ninth time in Yankees career, and that’s not a good thing, being as Price has won seven of the eight previous outings.
As I wrote last night, the Yankees control their own postseason fate with a majority of their remaining games this season coming against AL East opponents. With that being said, Sabathia is expected to take the mound at least eight more times.
So, as important as it is that the Yankees continue to hit the ball well, get solid contributions out of the bullpen, and most of all, just stay healthy, nothing is more important to the Yankees than having Sabathia get on track and finish out the season strong. And of course, that has to start tonight in St. Petersburg.
Gavin Ewbank is a Yankees writer for Rant Sports. Follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter for more Bombers talk.