Sunday, April 14, 2019


Source: Lucasfilm/Disney

If you're not a Star Wars "sweaty" you will likely not understand the correlation between Emperor Palpatine and today's headline.  But, I will catch you up.  For you fans who have seen the trailer for what is being toted as the final Star Wars movie, you heard the signature sinister laugh at the end of teaser which came from the evil villain who stole the soul of Anakin Skywalker and turned him into Darth Vader.  "He's back", many sweaties proclaimed after analyzing each frame of the trailer.  Palpatine's return signifies a change, a shift in the multi-generational series and is leaving fans on the edge of their seats until the last installment drops in December 2019.  Yesterday, we saw a similar legend enter the ballpark after suffering heart disease, having surgery and battling back for his final year in his long, successful career as a major league pitcher.  And just like the trailer, he did not disappoint.

CC Sabathia took the mound for the first time in the 2019 season and he was sharp, focused and did what he has traditionally done as an anchor for his team: He helped the team win.  Sabathia has been that guy who turns things around for his ball club, after they drop games, go on losing streaks or have a terrible slew of bad luck.  He did it again at the Stadium in front a cheering home crowd on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the Bronx. Sabathia had three strikeouts, gave up one hit and no runs in five innings of play. 

Source: NY Times

"He has become the stopper, going 14-1 with a 2.81 ERA since the start of 2017 after a Yankees loss as he has reinvented himself as a pitcher. The White Sox acted as if this were the 2009 version Sabathia and made no adjustments to the new world of his off-speed, hit-the-corners, backdoor slider," reported the NY Post.  Jack Curry commented after the game that the White Sox batters didn't know what pitch was coming and were tricked up by the veteran's diversity of pitches.

Source: Eve Edelheit for The New York Times

The Post continued, "With that approach, they had no chance, then the White Sox imploded in the seventh with second baseman Yolmer Sanchez botching a double-play ground ball off the bat of Greg Bird. (Tyler) Wade even bunted home Clint Frazier from third that inning, something the Bronx Bombers rarely do. Sabathia came back to the mound and the Yankees found their winning ways."

Like the Emperor's return in Star Wars, when CC enters the dugout, and takes the mound, he changes everything.  “He’s our leader,” (Aaron) Judge said, and no one argued the point. It’s that big smile, the booming laugh, and the overriding sense that nothing can stop this man. Not a bad knee or a heart scare, and certainly not the disappearance of that once-feared fastball," reported the NY Times.  

Source: Frank Franklin Ii/Associated Press

Let's hope Sabathia's presence continues to stabilize this Yankee team which cannot afford any more injuries or losses to teams who will likely have no real impact on the MLB standings this year.  With Sabathia on field and later in the dugout after completing a gem of a game, the Yankees seemed to find their small ball, taking the lead and eventual win from the White Sox on key base hits and a bunt.  Aaron Judge solidified the deal with a solo home run and the Yankees beat the Sox 4-0.  Only the rubber game today separates the Yankees from winning another series before the Red Sox come to the Bronx on Tuesday.  

Sabathia's force was strong Saturday and let's keep it that way.  There are a number of starts ahead for the future hall of famer this season and a number of Yankee wins needed in pursuit of #28.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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