As I was reading the guest post from the 6-pound Boys this morning, I found myself pausing over the part where they used CC Sabathia’s impact on the Brewers in 2008 as the prime example of a trade deadline smash. So, since I’m not bogged down today discussing The Show That Everyone Watched Last Night, I decided to go back and relive CC’s second-half a little, and see if it really was as good as we all seemed to think it was.
Short answer: Uh, yeah.
After being traded to the Brewers on July 8, Sabathia started 17 times, going 11-2 with seven complete games. Seven! That was most in the National League (despite having only played there for less than three months) and only two less than MLB-leader Roy Halladay had during a full season.
Sabathia also threw 130 2/3 innings during his 17 starts in that stretch – or just about the same number that Wandy Rodriguez threw for the Astros in 25 starts over the entire schedule. Sabathia also struck out 132 hitters with the Brewers – a total that would have tied him (with Jorge De La Rosa and Matt Garza) for 56th in season totals for the entire league.
Sabathia faced 516 batters and allowed an opposing OBP of .265. He threw 1,881 pitches, 67 percent of which were strikes. He once threw three complete games in a row, four in six starts and six out of 10 outings. He finished the season by pitching his final three games on three-days rest (winning two and going the distance in the finale). That’s super-human stuff.
I once talked with Sabathia about what the run was like and, as is his way, he low-keyed the whole thing. Said he was just doing his best, trying to help the team, etc. Then he laughed and we started talking about basketball. That’s just Sabathia’s way.
He can’t deny, though, that those 17 starts with the Brewers were something special. When fans (and GMs) talk about making an impact trade for their team at the deadline, the hope – the dream – is to get something like that.