CC Sabathia had his batting gloves on yesterday. He grabbed a bat with his name on it, sat at his locker and talked to Phil Hughes about today’s Braves starter, Mike Minor. Sabathia said he never, ever makes a point of knowing ahead of time which starting pitcher he’s matched up against.
“I’ve known this one for weeks,” he said.
Sabathia took an 0-for-3 last year. I didn’t know that until I looked it up, but my guess is Sabathia knows it off the top of his head. It was his first year since his rookie season that Sabathia didn’t have a hit. And Sabathia really likes to hit. In his career, Sabathia’s a .250/.257/.370 hitter. Doesn’t look like much, but consider that Mike Hampton was a career .246/.294/.356 hitter, and he won five Silver Sluggers! For a pitcher, the Yankees ace can rake.
Sabathia has his own bats, but he’ll use Robinson Cano’s bat for tonight’s game. Better hitters usually get better wood from bat companies, and Sabathia doesn’t want to mess around. Maybe he’ll go hitless tonight, but I was raised on the National League game, and I honestly like seeing pitchers hit. I especially like it when pitchers get as excited as Sabathia.
By the time we finished talking yesterday, Sabathia had asked whether I knew which starter was lined up to pitch for the Mets tonight.
He was trying to figure out who he might be matched up against at Citi Field later this month.