CC Sabathia has always been very good in the final month of the season for the Yankees. Look at his year-by-year numbers in September.
2009: 4-1, 2.39 ERA
2010: 3-2, 3.35 ERA
2011: 1-1, 3.08 ERA
2012: 2-2, 3.27 ERA
Sabathia starts Friday against the Orioles, and as the time stamp at the top of this blog shows, we are still two days short of September. However, this is basically the final month of the season since the last game of the regular season is Sept. 29. So Sabathia has four weeks to make something of what has been an abysmal year for him so far.
New York Yankees
Not only is he 11-11 with a 4.81 ERA, but he has given up 27 homers, which is the fourth-most in baseball. Think about that: The $23 million ace has a chance to lead the league in home runs allowed.
Sabathia is 33, and this is his first bad season as a Yankee. Prior to this year, he had lived up to every expectation the Yankees could have had for him, including combining with Alex Rodriguez in 2009 to lead the Yankees to a championship.
This year, he has not done it. There is just one month left to succeed -- and he starts off the Big 10, a 10-game homestand against the Orioles, White Sox and Red Sox in which the Yankees need to go no worse than 7-3, maybe even better than that, to give themselves a puncher's chance the final three weeks.
UP NOW: I mapped out how the Yankees can make the playoffs. Is it probable? No. It is possible? Yes. They have a chance to at least provide some drama if they can have a strong homestand.
ON DECK: The pitching matchups against the Orioles: Sabathia (11-11, 4.81 ERA) versus Miguel Gonzalez (8-6, 3.77). Gonzalez is 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA in five regular-season starts against the Yankees. On Saturday it's Ivan Nova (7-4, 3.14) versus Scott Feldman (4-3, 4.56). On Sunday it's Phil Hughes (4-13, 4.91) versus TBD.
IN THE HOLE: Mike Mazzeo and I will be at the Stadium for all your coverage.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What type of homestand do you think the Yankees need to have in order to make a run at the wild card?