The Roger Clemens story deserves its own post, so I'll get to that with my next one.
In the meantime, let us salute a great performance by a New York pitcher last night.
CC Sabathia went the distance in beating the Atlanta Braves, allowing 2 runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 10.
He was able to do this against a team that nearly made the Playoffs last season -- as opposed to doing it against one that was in first place a few days ago but hasn't made the Playoffs since less than 1,000 people had ever heard the name of Monica Lewinsky -- and without throwing a single knuckleball.
CC don't need no stinkin' relievers. He don't need no stinkin' knuckleballs. Hell, he don't even need no stinkin' periods on his initials!
Speaking of which, how is A.J. Burnett doing these days? Not badly at all, as it turns out: He's 7-2, with a 3.52 ERA, for his new team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are a game over .500 -- which, by their post-1992 standards, is pretty good. But that doesn't mean the Yankees need him: We're doing just fine.
Of course, it also helps to be getting the job done with the bats. Which, we are. Derek Jeter came through with a 2-run single, Mark Teixeira hit his 12th home run, and Robinson Cano hit his 13th.
Yankees 6, Braves 2. WP: Sabathia (9-3). LP: Mike Minor (3-5).
That's 10 wins in a row, and 19 of the last 23.
Now, it should be noted that R.A. Dickey of the Mets has used his knuckleball to throw back-to-back complete-game one-hitters. That's a lot of good pitching, not to mention a lot of hyphens. There's talk about him being the National League's starting pitcher in the All-Star Game next month.
It would be churlish to minimize what he's done. Praising Sabathia doesn't make what Dickey's done the last 3 seasons any less impressive. And let's face it, at the moment, the Orioles are a good team. The previous one-hitter was against the Tampa Bay Rays. I can't say he's done it against "weak sisters." He's 11-1, and the one loss was by a 4-3 score. True, this is a man who had won a grand total of 22 games in the major leagues before his 35th birthday, but the fact that he stuck with it and has won 30 games since said birthday says something about his character.
But who's kidding who? Dickey's doing this for the Mets. He could go 25-3 like Ron Guidry did with the Yankees in 1978, and it won't matter. Even with the added wild card berth, the Mets are not going to be a factor in September.
Any team with CC Sabathia is a factor. The Cleveland Indians in 2007, the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008, the Yankees ever since.
Dickey's performance did, however, cause the Baltimore Orioles to fall further behind the Yankees in the American League Eastern Division, so we Yankee Fans should thank him for that. The Yankees now lead the O's by 2 1/2 games (3 in the loss column), the Tampa Bay Rays by 4, the Toronto Blue Jays by 7 1/2 (8 in the loss column), and the Boston Red Sox by 8.
Magic Number: Sox and Jays 88, Rays 92, O's 93.
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