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Enjoy the win Angels fans, because you're about to be down 3-1

Oct 20, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

Why?  Because this is CC Sabathia’s career line on three days rest, which is what he’ll be on as he takes the mound tonight:

Starts:  4

Record: 3-1

Innings: 26.2

Strikeouts: 26

Walks: 6

ERA: 1.01

Small sample size? Oh, absolutely. Fluky? Hard to say. Anything can happen in four starts, but over the course of his career, he has done much better with less rest than he has with extra rest. I’m no pitching expert, but the guy is a horse who gets so much of his power from his extremely ample lower body that his arm seems way less affected by a heavy workload than a lot of other guys. And given how badly Girardi has toasted his bullpen over the past two games, the Yankees are going to need CC to carry that weight.

Of course, even if Sabathia doesn’t come through tonight, he is set to go in a theoretical Game 7 on normal rest.  Which, despite last night’s game, is the reason why I seriously doubted Anaheim’s chances in this series.  To win it, they gotta beat CC Sabathia at least once.  From where I’m sitting, I’m having a hard time seeing it happening.

 

UPDATE:  Reader Mike Z correctly notes that I missed a short rest start for Sabathia.  He started Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS on short rest. He got beat up pretty bad. 

For what it’s worth, the reason I missed it is because Baseball-Reference.com — which lists days rest and on which I based this post — for some reason counts the playoffs and regular season games completely seperately and did not show Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS as a being in short rest. My bad. I should have cross-references his last regular season start and included the bombing he received at the hands of the Phillies.

That said, I stand by the prediction: I think CC will do well today, even if the underlying data is not quite as compelling as I mistakenly made it out to be.

  1. D.J. Short - Oct 20, 2009 at 10:04 AM

    Logic isn’t a friend of the postseason this year.

  2. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 20, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    As much as I’d love to agree with you Craig, if the Yanks bats don’t wake up (outside Jeter, Arod, Posada), anything less than vintage CC might not be good enough. Yesterday’s game should have been over in the 4th after being up 3-0 with runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs (for the second time) and failing to get a run across.

  3. lee - Oct 20, 2009 at 1:12 PM

    The beginning of the end for Yanks……sorry all the money in the world will not get past the California Angels…..C.C. will hopefully get stretched out and wore out for game 7, Too much talent and money does not equal a championship,,,On the other hand i believe the Phillies are a team of destiny….

  4. aceshigh - Oct 20, 2009 at 2:06 PM

    Red Sox fan and chronic Yankee hater here, but this team is unstoppable right now, despite last night’s fluke.
    I don’t enjoy saying it…but it’s obvious to anyone with a sense of impartiality that the Yankees have the AL East and the majority of World Series locked up for the next five years.
    It’s impossible to overstate the devastating impact of the Teixeria/Sabathia signings in both NYC and Boston.

  5. John - Oct 20, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    As long as the Yankees continue to rely strictly on home runs to score runs they’ll continue to lose games. Teams that can’t produce runs by getting hits with runners on base aren’t championship caliber teams.

  6. aceshigh - Oct 20, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    Uhh…even if the Yankees DID rely strictly on home runs (which they don’t…yesterday’s game does not a trend make), they won 103 games in the toughest division in baseball. They’re doing something right.
    They are clearly championship caliber…maybe they won’t get all the way there this year, but it’s looking pretty damned good so far.
    Again, I’m just a Red Sox fan who doesn’t have any blinders on. This team is deadly-good.

  7. flayankee - Oct 20, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    Ummm John, except for the Angels last run (which did win it) did you just not happent to notice that all of the Angels other runs came off of Home runs?

  8. Pooh - Oct 20, 2009 at 3:06 PM

    when CC Sabathia not with Yankees last few year , he always fail in playoff and big games. He will need to win tonight game to show him are big game picther.
    Other hand Angeles, I like their team work, not like Yankees )Money players). Good luck to Angeles

  9. historyshows... - Oct 20, 2009 at 3:33 PM

    When Sabathia tried to carry the indians against the red sox in 2007, he failed miserably. why? because he was the only one who could have beat the sox. when pressure is on him, he doesn’t play all that well. hopefully theres less pressure tonight.

  10. twobits - Oct 20, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    Didn’t the Phillies beat him last year in the playoffs on 3 days rest?

  11. greenie meanie - Oct 20, 2009 at 3:55 PM

    Thats a pretty bleak outlook on the future. I would not be so sure that even if the Yankees win this year that they will be dominant for the next five. That’s assuming an awful lot.

  12. Jason Wright - Oct 20, 2009 at 4:08 PM

    Sabathia may have a pretty good record on short rest but against who? The Reds? The Pirates? He has a good track record on short rest not because he’s that good but because his history of pitching on short rest is against mediocre teams. The Angels are a different story. I’m not saying that he’s going to pitch horrible but he needs to prove that he can pitch well on short rest against a great team.

  13. John - Oct 20, 2009 at 4:15 PM

    Point taken aceshigh and flayankee, but considering that in all those time the Yankees have faced Kaz when he was with TB they never really shelled him for HR’s, which means they’ll most likely have to produce some runs tonight through timely hits with RISP. Can they do it?

  14. max - Oct 20, 2009 at 4:38 PM

    I hate writers who take a series of 4 starts and then pronounce a winner.

  15. Talex - Oct 20, 2009 at 4:43 PM

    Gee, the Yankees lose one game and their the under-dog all of a sudden? You’ve got to be kidding.
    And the Angels are the prime examples of team work?–did you watch games 1 and 2? I think that was the Yankees who had all the team work (yeah, money players, huh? And Torri Hunter and Vlad G. and John Lackey, soon to be formerly of the Angels, aren’t money players? Give us a break! All the good teams are full of money players period. Also, try looking at the Yankees roster. They have more home grown players than any of the other 2009 playoff teams.
    And CC has to prove he is a big game pitcher? He beat the Twins last week. He’s already beat the Angels in this series. He paid the Red Sox in playoff game conditions and he was 12-1 down the stretch. I think he’s proven his worth.
    What you should be critical of is the Yankees manager’s over managing. Leave Chamberlain, Hughes, and Robertson in the game to pitch more than 1 inning like he did all year. If so this series would have been over tonight. If the Yankees lose it will be because of the managing and not the players.

  16. Mike Z - Oct 20, 2009 at 4:44 PM

    Hey Calcaterra, are those his regular season numbers for pitching on 3 days rest? Because he did Pitch on 3 days rest in game 2 of the NLDS vs. the Phillies in the 2008 post season and got lit up. He gave up 5 runs in 2 1/3rd innings, including a grand slam to Shane Victorino. That works out to be an ERA of 19.31 and the loss. Even if the other 3 starts were complete game shutouts he could only get his ERA down to around 1.53.

  17. Craig Calcaterra - Oct 20, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    Mike: You’re right. The reason I missed it is because Baseball-Reference.com — which lists days rest and on which I based this post — for some reason counts the playoffs and regular season games completely seperately and did not show Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS as a being in short rest. My bad, and thank you for pointing it out.
    I stand by the prediction — I think CC will do well today — but the underlying data was wrong.

  18. Doug S - Oct 20, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    Did you watch the game or read the box score? The first three runs the Angels scored were on home runs. The fourth run was off a pinch hit sac fly. The fifth was a double. Check your facts before you give someone crap.
    I’m surprised the media hasn’t petitioned MLB to call the Yankees the World Series Champions already. How dare anyone try to give any credit to a west coast team with the second best record in baseball and the best in the last two years.

  19. judyj - Oct 20, 2009 at 5:40 PM

    I am a SAWKS hater and do not agree – the Yankees truly have been blessed with the addition of Teixera – no doubt about that. However, SAWKS pitching still stronger and as much as I hate to admit it to you especially, the Yankees need another really strong arm and another bat in the outfield on a day-to-day basis.

  20. Ray - Oct 20, 2009 at 6:20 PM

    So far the only dominating performance in the ALCS has been in game one. The last two games could have gone either way. Calcaterra, I think you are using too small of a sample. Kazmir is no slouch. The Yankees have been relying on the long ball. Right now they are not so hot with runners in scoring position

  21. Jay - Oct 20, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    People have short memories. Did anybody watch game 1? The Yankees didn’t hit a home run. Jeter singled in a run. A-Rod’s RBI came on a sac fly and Matsui had two RBI’s with no dingers. Yeah, A-Rod tied game 2 with a HR, but quite frankly, that’s the time when they needed one with Freddie Guzman and Brett Gardner hitting behind.
    The key for the Yankees is taking more advantage of the opportunities they get. Twice last night they had runners on third with less than 2 outs and couldn’t plate them.
    Tex has almost made up for his total lack of offensive production with his slick fielding, but the Angels are at the point where they know he’s struggling and can pitch to him and then work around A-Rod (like that intentional walk last night with nobody on).
    Timely hits. That’s what will do it. CC will be fine. We’ll know in the first inning whether the Yanks face Kazmir the pitcher or Kazmir the walk freak in the first inning. If he’s off, they need to capitalize fast. The Yankees win tonight, there is no way the Angels win 3 straight, the 2004 debacle notwithstanding.

  22. ArizonaFan - Oct 20, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    Two of Sabathia’s wins on three-days rest came against the Pirates and Reds. The Angels, on the other hand, have actual Major League talent. Pitchers going on three-days rest in the post season have a 19-34 record in the Division Playoff era. I like the Angels chances. In fact, based on that statistic I will predict that the Angels will win two of the next three, which means CC will have to come back on three-days rest, again, for game 7. I wonder what the record is for pitchers on three-days rest back-to-back. I really like the Angels chances now.

  23. Eric - Oct 20, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    Is this guy a moron? CC will get lit up

  24. Steve - Oct 20, 2009 at 6:39 PM

    English,please!

  25. joe d - Oct 20, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    CC will have to come back on three-days rest, again, for game 7.
    not true check your schedule before you type puke

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