Justin Verlander is impossible to overlook. He’s been too good this season, too good to think there’s any other pitcher in this division series capable of having a bigger impact.
Surely squaring off against a pitcher like that sparks something extra inside of CC Sabathia.
“I wish I could sit here and say yeah, but no, not at all,” the Yankees ace said. “I still have to go out and do my job. Like I said, I’m out pitching against the Detroit Tigers and that lineup. I really can’t get myself concerned with what he does.”
Sabathia is the Yankees answer to Verlander, and the two are very familiar with one another having spent so much time together in the American League Central. They’ve already met once this year. It was on Opening Day. Both took a no-decision.
“CC’s a horse,” Derek Jeter said. “He wants to be out there. He’s a guy that wants to finish his games. He’s been our ace. He’s been the guy that we look to for big games and big results, and we have a lot of confidence in him.”
This is the key matchup. In a five-game series, a 1-0 lead is huge. The Yankees and Tigers are going with their best.
“I have a ton of confidence in CC,” Joe Girardi said. “This is a guy that’s been doing it for a long time. He’s been doing it in the postseason for us as well. He’s a guy that gives you a ton of innings, but he gives you quality innings. I have a ton of belief. You know he’s not going to panic. If he gets in a tough situation, he’s going to continue to make his pitches.”
Here’s Sabathia during yesterday’s press conference.
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Associated Press photo