Aug 24, 2009, 9:20 AM EDT
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?
- The San Jose lawsuit against Major League Baseball should be thrown out of court 16
- San Jose sues Major League Baseball, challenging its monopoly power 24
- Original Biogenesis source: “the people running Major League Baseball are the biggest scumbags on Earth” 37
- Brian Cashman calls out Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long 47
- And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights 84
- MLB hands down the suspensions for Tuesday night’s Dodgers-Diamondbacks melee (111)
- Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why beanball wars are stupid (104)
- Democrats beat the Republicans 22-0 in the Congressional Baseball Game (98)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (97)
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights (88)
- Can Heat focus enough to avoid elimination?
- CSN: Bruins' defense never rests in Game 3 win
- CSN: Celtics-Clippers KG, Rivers trade talks dead
- PFT: Freed Johnson wants second chance in NFL
- PBT: Judges rules Iverson did not kidnap children
- PFT: Rodgers says Packers' moves a 'wake-up call'
- PFT: Beckham turned down chance to kick in NFL