CC Sabathia won 19 games for the Indians but didn’t get a chance to go for 20; No. 19 came in Sabathia’s final start of the season.
This year, Sabathia is again at 19 wins and he’ll have one chance at winning his 20th tomorrow night in Tampa against the Rays. Not surprisingly, Sabathia didn’t seem particularly focused on whether he reaches the milestone or not.
“It’s not like a crazy goal or anything,” Sabathia said before yesterday’s game. “It’d be cool, I guess.”
The last Yankees pitcher to win 20 was Mike Mussina a year ago, and the last Yankee lefty was Andy Pettitte in 2003. Sabathia will be tuning up for the postseason tomorrow, but look for Joe Girardi to give him every opportunity to get the win. “If he’s got the lead, we’ll do whatever we can to preserve it,” Girardi said.
Sabathia is one of the few players I’d actually believe when he says he doesn’t care about personal accomplishments like that – he seems to be that genuinely laid-back – but deep down, you know it matters to him. Just not as much as winning his first World Series ring.
“It’s the same thing as the Cy Young — you don’t think about that type of stuff,” said Sabathia, who is certainly in the running for that award. “I never did coming up. I just wanted to come out and make it to the big leagues and be successful. I never thought about winning a Cy Young or winning 20 games. I always just wanted to win a championship.”