Aug 24, 2009, 9:20 AM EST
The Daily News’ John Harper and Joe Girardi play the Jack Morris card in regards to CC Sabathia:
Sabathia gave the Yankees something of a Jack Morris game Sunday night, at least by the pitch-count limits of today’s game, going 6-2/3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned. Along the way he had to overcome a couple of Robinson Cano errors, but most importantly, he held a lead from the third inning on, didn’t walk anyone, and threw 118 pitches to get the game to Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera.
“I think the great pitchers know how to do that,” Joe Girardi said afterward. “The great ones don’t relinquish the lead. They know how to pitch to the score and win the game, and CC is one of those guys.”
Look, I love CC Sabathia, and even though he beat my Braves in Game 7 of 1991 and was kind of a jerk the one time I met him in person, I have a soft spot in my heart for Jack Morris because he was the ace of the team I loved when I was a little kid. But please, can’t we finally do away with the whole “knows how to win” and “pitches to the score” argument? The notion that Jack Morris intentionally “pitched to the score” and had some preternatural ability to win that was separate and apart from his run support has been discredited multiple times (here’s one of the better examples).
Jack Morris was a good, not great pitcher who benefited from some very good offenses in Detroit in the 1980s. Sabathia has been great, but for the most part this season has been merely good, and last night was a great example of it. Solid. Professional. As always, tough. But his win had way more to do with the five dingers the Yankees hit off of Josh Beckett than any sort of hoodoo or gumption he has that no one else has.
What kills me about the “he just knows how to win” line is that, as is the case here, it’s almost always uttered by writers and managers and people who are very big on talking about how teams, not individuals, win games. Why then, can’t they acknowledge that when a pitcher wins a game with eight runs behind him, it has more to do with the team than with whatever winner’s magic he is supposed to possess?
- Aramis Ramirez says 2015 will be his last year 26
- Francisco Rodriguez re-signs with the Brewers 9
- If addiction is an illness — and it is — Josh Hamilton shouldn’t be suspended 281
- Pirates open to massive extension for Andrew McCutchen 17
- Report: Josh Hamilton had a relapse this offseason that “involved at least cocaine” 86
- Yankees don’t plan on having to pay A-Rod’s $30 million in home run milestone bonuses 49
- San Francisco — and all of California — will consider a smokeless tobacco ban that includes MLB parks 131
- Rob Manfred says a return to a 154-game season could happen one day 66
- If addiction is an illness — and it is — Josh Hamilton shouldn’t be suspended (281)
- San Francisco — and all of California — will consider a smokeless tobacco ban that includes MLB parks (131)
- Report: The Yankees were “fuming” at how A-Rod handled his early arrival to spring training (114)
- Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada reportedly signs with the Red Sox for $31.5 million, plus $31.5 million in penalties (106)
- Gregg Zaun says young players should be physically abused and hazed by veterans. So they can learn respect. (105)