August is the new April?

Prior to August, CC Sabathia was in the running for the Cy Young award. He was neck and neck (and neck?) with Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver, and any three could make a decent case for the CYA. However, since August 1 CC has done nothing but hurt his cause.

In his last four starts, CC has yielded 39 hits in 29 innings with 18 runs — 17 earned. His strikeout rate is still great — 28 K to just two BB — but he’s been touched for seven homers…he had given up only six taters all season before August (168 2/3 innings). His last four appearances have seen him give up 10, 9, 10 and 10 hits, respectively, while opponents are hitting .333/.339/.581 for a .920 OPS over that span.

Granted he’s 2-2 over that time, but his ERA is 5.28 in the four starts and his overall ERA has “ballooned” from 2.56 to 2.96.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade the big fella for anyone. This is clearly a very small sample size and I’m not worried, but it’s a little disheartening given the current state of their rotation and the proximity of the Sox to the Yanks’ ass in the division race.

This slide is nothing to slit our collective wrist over, methinks, and CC could still make a push for the Cy Young because:

Arguments for:

CC’s WAR is a dead sexy 5.9, second to only Justin Verlander in the AL and third in MLB behind Halladay (6.7) and Verlander; his xFIP (3.00) and FIP (2.79) rank second in the AL to Verlander (2.97, 2.69); his 184 strikeouts are second to Verlander; and his 17 wins are second to, guess who, Verlander (18).

Arguments against:

CC’s K/9, 8.38, is a little low [by CYA standards] and ranks him fifth in the AL* and his 22.7 K% is also fifth best in the AL; his BB/9, 2.14, ranks him fourth in the AL and his 5.8 BB% is tied for third in the league; his .59 HR/9 rate ranks fourth in the AL; his 2.96 ERA is tied for sixth best in the AL; batters are hitting .240 against him, which is second worst among 11 AL pitchers; his 1.16 WHIP is seventh of 11 AL pitchers; and perhaps most importantly he is 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP to go with 33 hits, 20 runs and a 21-10 KK/BB ratio in 25 innings against Boston.

*all rankings in this section are among pitchers with at least 170 innings

Again, these stats are nothing to scoff at (except the ones against the Red Cox) and I’d take them from my ace any day, but they’re not exactly Cy Young caliber. However, CC still has about seven starts left so if he returns to pre-August form he still has a shot to make his case. For those of you scoring at home I think he will return to form but Verlander will still get the Cy Young. Sorry, I’m not that much of a homer.

What does the rest of the season hold for CC?

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