Needless panic over Sabathia

C.C. Sabathia began 2008 by going 0-3 in his first four starts.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - For those fantasy owners who were panicking about the performance of New York Yankees pitching ace, C.C. Sabathia, over the first five weeks - relax. There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.

To those owners who saw his first few outings and already traded him away - shame on you. Did you learn nothing from 2008 when he also started off poorly?

Actually in 2008, his early starts would have had to improve to be classified as "poor." Last year, Sabathia's start was simple horrible, as ugly as you can imagine from a pitcher with as much talent as C.C. has.

Sabathia began 2008 by going 0-3 in his first four starts. His ERA was a stunning 13.50 and his WHIP a laughable 2.55. Okay, none of his owners, including me, were laughing at the time, but as long as you didn't panic, you were rewarded with a remarkable season. The final numbers were: 17-10, 253 innings, 251 strikeouts, ERA, 2.70, WHIP 1.11.

The Cleveland Indians/Milwaukee Brewers pitcher went 3-1 in June (ERA 1.89, WHIP 0.947), 4-0 in July (ERA 2.27, WHIP 1.007), 5-0 in August (ERA 1.12, WHIP 0.993) and primarily on three-days rest in September went 2-2 (ERA 2.11, WHIP 1.031).

Compared to 2008, his start this season is "acceptable." And on Friday night, while all the world's attention was on the return of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, Sabathia apparently relaxed and did what he does best. He went the distance, yielding just four hits and a walk while striking out eight in a 4-0 victory over Baltimore.

Obviously, Sabathia should not be on anyone's trading block as I expect this was his "breakthrough" game and for the remainder of the year will look like the pitcher we saw last summer.

C.C. Sabathia 2008 vs. 2009 Statistics

Month/Year Team W/L IN H BB ER K ERA WHIP
April 2009 CLE 1-4 32.0 40 17 28 33 7.88 1.78
April 2009 NYY 1-2 32.1 31 14 17 19 4.73 1.39
May 2008 CLE 2-3 44.1 41 8 12 41 2.44 1.10
May 2009. thru 5/9 NYY 1-1 15.2 12 2 4 13 2.30 0.89


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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