CC Sabathia’s Final(?) Outing Ends Abruptly
Poor CC. We all knew he was on his last legs. He told us before the season started that this would be his final season. He said his goodbyes to fans and teammates last month during a nice little farewell ceremony. He wasn’t on the ALDS roster because he was plagued with injuries. So to see him try to help his team make it to the World Series in the ALCS was… I don’t know the word I’m looking for. Is it admirable? Not wise? Painful? Cringeworthy? Heartbreaking? It’s the kind of feeling you get in movies where the hero dies trying to save the world or a person that he loves, even when there are less heartbreaking options for an ending that they didn’t do instead.
Sabathia has been dominant for the majority of his career. He’s a Cy Young winner. He’s amassed over 3,000 strikeouts. In 2009 and 2010 with the Yankees, he lead all of the Majors with wins. He led his teams (Cleveland, Milwaukee, and New York) to the post season in ten of his nineteen major league seasons. He earned that World Series ring in 2009 with the Yankees after being voted the ALCS MVP. He will surely be in the Hall of Fame, likely the first year he is eligible to enter.
So yes, we’ve seen how he’s been clutch in the post season (with the small blip of blowing it for the Brewers while pitching in the NLDS for Milwaukee in 2008). And yes, he was able to get the one out he was asked to get in the the tenth during Game Two on Sunday. But perhaps putting him in last night to get out of Ottavino’s jam for all three outs when there were other, less injured guys ready in the bullpen might not have been the smartest move on the Yankees’ part.
When Sabathia was put on the ALCS roster, he still wasn’t near 100% after a cortisone shot in the shoulder — this was the pain that kept him out of the ALDS. His knee has been a problem all season. Dude was basically out there, held together with some duct tape and a prayer, and New York hoped it would hold up for three outs last night. It didn’t.
It wasn’t really apparent to me what happened, when after getting out number two he signaled to the bench that he was hurting. Was it his knee? His shoulder? He took one test pitch to see if he could get that final out. And with that, one of the best pitchers of the last two decades limped off the field, probably for the very last time. It really was sad to watch:
And thank you, Buster Olney, for clarifying what actually happened to take CC out of the game:
When teammates went to the mound to check on CC Sabathia, he told them of his shoulder: “It popped.” He tried the one warm-up pitch, said “I’m done,” and walked off the field in pain. Teammates said it was hard to see him in pain after the game.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 18, 2019
No matter how one feels about the Yankees, there is no question as to how badass CC Sabathia was/is. You’ve got to respect a guy that basically threw pitches for nineteen seasons until his arm damn near fell off, and STILL wanted to get that last out. And if by some miracle, the Yankees come back and force a Game Seven, I would not be surprised if CC wanted to try to come back in after resting that shoulder to try to get that last out.