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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. Chris D - Oct 20, 2009 at 7:27 PM

    Okay as a Red Sox fan I would love to see the Yankees get destroyed but the fact of the matter is this. CC when he is in a groove as he is now is damn near unbeatable, if he controls his game as he has in his last few starts he will be fine. As for the Yankee bats they do need to wake up. If they do not wake up the Yankees could be looking at an upset similar to that glorious ALCS series in 2004. If the Angels can learn anything from the Red Sox is this. While the Yankees are good WE PROVED that you can come back from 0 – 3 and win it, the Angels are 1 – 2 so theyve got a fighting chance but if CC has his way its gonna be a sad night for Angels fans.

  2. Don Edwards - Oct 20, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    Sabathia is great on three day rest? So were Warren Spahn, Juan Marichal, Bob Feller, Lefty Grove, Bob Gibson, Robin Roberts, Steve Carleton, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Bob Lemon, Gaylord Perry, Whitey Ford, Carl Hubbell, Tom Seaver, not to mention guys like Cy Young Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, and a host of others….so what’s the big deal??

  3. hop - Oct 20, 2009 at 11:34 PM

    Where are all the Yankee haters tonight? 10-1 thats where! 3-1 baby! bye bye angels!! phillies\sillies you’re next!

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Oct 21, 2009 at 6:58 AM

    Hey, whaddaya know. I’m not as big as an idiot as you all think.

  5. GBS - Oct 21, 2009 at 7:39 AM

    Craig, don’t you know that by not being the idiot they thought you were, you’re letting down all your “fans.” So, so disappointing.

  6. Mike Z - Oct 21, 2009 at 12:20 PM

    I also thought Sabathia would have a good night. He took it even further and had an amazing outing. I think the big reason he had such a poor outing in the NLDS last year was due to the Brewers running him out down the stretch over and over on 3 days rest in the race for the wild card birth. They ended up beating out the Mets by 1 game to take the wild card, but Sabathia didn’t have much left in the tank to take them any further.
    So now that both of the LA teams are on the verge of elimination is it time to start to speculate on the WS?
    Cliff Lee vs. C.C. Sabathia in game 1 of the World Series. The best pitching match up in the Series in the past decade?

  7. Tim - Oct 23, 2009 at 1:16 AM

    It must really suck when you base your article on statistics that end up be incorrect. Yea you happened to be right but get your facts straight. I would think that pitchers pitch on 3 days rest far more often in the playoffs, so I wonder why you wouldn’t think to check that. His record becomes 3-2 and I’m sure his ERA shoots up as well. Yea he’s a dominant pitcher but I’m hoping the series goes to 7 games so that we can see how CC pitches when the series on the line

  8. Kim Car - Feb 11, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Of course, what a great site and informative posts, I will add backlink – bookmark this site? Regards,

  9. watch tv and movies - Mar 8, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Thanks for this post

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