Yankees: Have no fear, CC’s still here with another quality start

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees used to have an underrated outfielder named Tommy Henrich in the late 1940’s and 1950’s that they nicknamed “Ole Reliable.” They now have another player who fits the title, especially the part about being underrated.

The Yankees, and in particular, Joe Girardi, do not know from day to day what will happen when they hand the ball to a starting pitcher.

Masahiro Tanaka looks like Tommy Milone for two starts in a row, but then he turns in a gem on Friday night. Luis Severino looks like Bob Gibson the other night, but will he give a repeat performance in his next start against the Orioles. Up and down the Yankees starting rotation, the story is the same.

Despite all the blips in the starting rotation, the team is still here, alive, kicking, and winning. And so, by the way, is CC Sabathia.

Except that is for Ole Reliable CC Sabathia. The only time this season, when Sabathia has turned in less than five innings, was against the Blue Jays on May 3 when he was battered for six earned runs in a no-decision effort. Other than that, he’s been the guy that Girardi can count on to keep the Yankees in the game.

Yankees pull out a win today

Today, against the Oakland A’s, he turned in 6.1 innings in which he surrendered only two earned runs, including a solo shot by A’s catcher, Josh Phegley.

Sabathia is now longer mowing them down; he’s setting them down. And if there is anyone who still questions whether or not he has made the conversion from fireballer to a finesse pitcher, they haven’t been paying attention.

And if his knees and back can continue to support the weight he carries, we might be looking at the second coming of Jamie Moyer or Tommy John, both of whom pitched into their middle forties.

More from Yanks Go Yard

The offense of the Yankees sputtered again today as they managed to score only three runs in a tense 3-2 win over the A’s at Yankee Stadium. Matt Holliday, however, made the difference smashing one of the team’s two hits for a home run with a man on in the sixth inning.

And unlike the night before, the bullpen was there to lock in the victory for Sabathia, who is now 5-2 on the year.

Dellin Betances earned his fifth consecutive save without a blemish during the absence of Aroldis Chapman, who may be weeks away from a return to the team at full strength.

Joe Girardi said the other day that you don’t replace an arm like Chapman. But from the looks of things, he must have only been talking about Chapman’s left arm versus Betances right arm, because has anyone noticed the difference between the two of late?

The Yankees needed this win today and another one tomorrow when they send Michael Pineda (5-2 3.35) out there to nail the series down with the A’s before the Yankees leave New York for a road trip.

It doesn’t get any easier

On Monday night, the Yankees arrive in Baltimore to face a team that is either napping or on their way to oblivion. A five-game losing streak has left them in third place looking up at the Boston Red Sox who have won five in a row.

Hoping that sleeping dogs lie still, the Yankees move on from Camden Yards to face the Blue Jays in Toronto, where it’s anyone’s guess which team will show up for the match. Following a horrendous start to the season, the Jays bounced back for a while only to falter again of late.

The mantra in any pennant race is always the same. Don’t fret and worry about what other teams are doing. Just take care of your business no matter who you are playing.

It’s worked so far for the Yankees. And despite all the blips in the starting rotation, the team is still here, alive, kicking, and winning. And so, by the way, is CC Sabathia.