Game Four of the ALCS did not go as planned for the New York Yankees. Since winning Game One, they have been outplayed by the Houston Astros in all aspects of the game. That being said, the crowd still found reason cheer loud and proud in the grimmest of scenarios. As CC Sabathia walked off the mound, the fans erupted in a shower of appreciation for all that he has done for the franchise.
Take a good look. This could be the last appearance of CC Sabathia's career.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 18, 2019
Not The Way To Go
CC Sabathia came on in the eighth inning with the Yankees trailing 6-3. He got the ground ball he would need to get out of the inning before an error from Gleyber Torres extended the it, allowing another run to score.
Unfortunately, the extra pitches thrown were enough to re-ignite an ailing shoulder for Sabathia. After a visit from the trainer, he would exit the game.
With the Yankees trailing 3-1 in the series, that could have been the last appearance of Sabathia’s career. In a year riddled with injuries, including for Sabathia, it is another injury that brings Sabthia’s career to a likely close. By no means is that the way any player would want to end their career.
In a night filled with hope and excitement, Sabathia gave fans a reason to cheer after the that hope and excitement became despair and disappointment. Not only is Sabathia loved by the fans of New York, but also respected across MLB. This was evident as the Astros also stopped to cheer when Sabathia walked off the mound.
“You can see the impact that he’s had on numerous players on our team and me and everybody else,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “We have so much respect for him that in the middle of a heavy-weight bout of playoff baseball we all can keep our sense about us and pay our respects to him.”
CC Sabathia left everything out on the field in what may have been his final appearance on a big-league mound. pic.twitter.com/vMSePSTZXW
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 18, 2019
CC Sabathia will go down as one of the best free agent signings that the Yankees have ever made for a pitcher. In 11 seasons with the team, he brought great value to the pitching staff.
After the 2008 season, the Yankee pitching staff was filled with uncertainty. Mike Mussina decided to retire and Andy Pettitte-who would eventually re-sign with the team-was also a free agent. Sabathia was the prized pitcher to acquire for many teams, but the Yankees were ultimately able to sign him for seven years and $161 million.
Sabathia brought stability to the team’s rotation as the Yankees went on to win the 2009 World Series. As velocity diminished, Sabathia learned to reinvent himself. He added a cutter to his pitch arsenal and began to pitch to more contact. His experiences pitching with power and to contact in his career as well as the respect so many players had for him made him the true leader of the Yankee clubhouse.
“That’s a warrior right there,” Aaron Judge said. “That’s why he has so much respect around the game and in the stadium. It was tough to see but that’s our leader, he left it all out there.”
So much notoriety has been given to CC Sabathia’s career since he announced his retirement last offseason. He finishes his career with 251 wins and 3,093 strikeouts. He is the 14th pitcher in MLB history to accumulate both of those totals. Additionally, he is the third left-handed pitcher to reach the 3,000 strikeout mark.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images