Wins are an overrated stat. You won’t get an argument from me there. You can get wins to pile up if you’re around long enough to not get cut and are on a potent team. That’s how you get a guy like Rick Helling who won 20 games in 1998 with a 4.41 ERA and 4.34 FIP. If you’re Jacob deGrom and the Mets have conditioned you to think you should belong there, the opportunity to string together 20-win seasons will be rare. Despite all this, in the case of CC Sabathia and him being one of 14 pitchers to accumulate 3000 strikeouts and 250 wins, well, we can still look at that as an achievement because of what it represents.
CC is a throwback. He’s the last of a dying breed. He played in an era where going deep into games wasn’t a matter of pride. In fact it had nothing to do with pride. It was expected. The wins are important in showing just how good he was for so long. You don’t get to 250 without being a survivor – and that’s what CC Sabathia is.
Just look at some of the leaders from his first year in the majors. In 2001 Ichiro won an MVP award and Roger Clemens, Mark Mulder and Freddy Garcia were battling it out just to see who should win AL Cy Young. Ichiro had his last hoorah this year while Mulder and Garcia will be lost in time.
It’s true that wins don’t matter as much but if he came out there laying goose eggs for twenty years like he was Michael Pineda or Jeff Weaver – the bad Weaver not the good one who played for Anaheim – well, he wouldn’t even have the chance to get to 100. But that is the beauty of CC. He kept going and going and going. Hell, if that knee held up and he figured out a way to consistently pitch the way he did against Tampa the other day, he could probably go a little longer.
Of course Father Time doesn’t care if you’ve perfected the cutter. CC is at an age where the body doesn’t work the way it used to. In terms of going head to head with that degenerate old man who controls time and space though, CC Sabathia has done an incredible job. Better than most. He’s been around for so long that he and Nolan Ryan have something in common. If you go on their baseball reference page you need a scroll bar to look at their career stats. That’s an impressive thing that doesn’t show up on baseball cards.
And look I get it. As it pertains to this year, the difference between his FIP and ERA aren’t great. He probably has a few more implosion games under his belt as well. The baseball savant graph isn’t great either.
Still, I’ll take my chances with CC on the mound. That scum Sonny Gray (Click the link for a funny headline. That guy duped so many veteran writers into thinking he was the right move for the Yankees hah!) is having a better year – which we all expected – but when it comes to a game like the one Wednesday where the Yankees gutted Tampa and their ace Blake Snell, who would you trust going into that game? CC or a guy like Sonny whose Savant graph looks better.
Analytics say Sonny. Analytics don’t account for CC Sabthia’s presence though. He is a balls to the wall throwback.