At the end of June, CC Sabathia was 3-8 with a 5.59 ERA. Yankee fans were calling for the veteran to be demoted to the bullpen or even cut from the team and bought out of his current contract. However, since than, the big lefty has lost just one game, and despite not producing many tallies in the win column, he’s recorded five quality starts, and finally looks to be back on track as we near September.
So what’s the secret behind CC Sabathia’s newfound success?
Well, back in June when the Yankees were on the road in Houston, Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia met in the visitors bullpen, and ‘Dandy’ Andy handed his old friend a baseball.
As we reported earlier on Yanks Go Yard, the retired pitcher has been one of CC’s biggest advocates and closest role models during his attempt to convert from a power pitching work house to an off-speed finesse pitcher. Maybe it’s because Andy Pettitte see’s a little bit of himself in Sabathia, being that he did the exact same thing towards the end of his own career, or maybe it’s because Andy Pettitte is just that good of a teammate, but either way, it’s working.
Upon Sabathia’s request, Andy Pettitte showed him the grip to the cut fastball during their bullpen session in Houston. Not only was it Pettitte’s best pitch, but it was also the pitch that kept him successful through the end of his 18-year career.
According to Brendan Kuty of NJ Advanced Media, the two pitchers talked about how the pitch felt and how its supposed to feel as it leaves your hand.
Since their meeting, CC lowered his ERA to a 5.32 in July and a 3.38 so far through August, his best two monthly totals of the season, and the veteran southpaw said the grip on the cutter taught to him by Pettitte is a big reason why.
Of course, there have been a ton of other reasons for Sabathia’s resurgence other than adding a cut fastball to his arsenal, but with Andy Pettitte day just two days away at the stadium, I thought it would be cool to give Mr. Andrew Eugene Pettitte some face time here on Yanks Go Yard.
Outside of fact that CC basically hasn’t pitched on normal rest since the start of the second half of the season, Sabathia said, the cutter’s been huge, and the man to thank is former teammate Andy Pettitte.
"“It’s been a big help for me,” Sabathia told NJ.com."
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