While plenty of New York sports fans are lamenting the end of an era in the Meadowlands, another fine career began winding down in the Bronx.
Yankees veteran starter CC Sabathia made his final regular-season start at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night, which didn’t last long against the Los Angeles Angels.
The 39-year-old went just 2.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits before he was pulled for Domingo German.
While the Yankees went on to lose the game, the night will forever be remembered for CC’s exit as he was heralded with a standing ovation from the Bronx faithful.
There’s no denying that Sabathia has been one of the most productive and dependable Yankees of the 2000s. In 11 seasons with the organization, he compiled a 134-88 record with 1,698 strikeouts while averaging 174 innings pitched per season.
It’s made up the bulk of a resume that will receive strong consideration for Hall-of-Fame induction in five years or so as he’s compiled over 250 wins and 3,000 strikeouts.
Given the schedule, Sabathia could have been slated to receive one more start next week — likely against the Rays in Tampa. However, Wednesday night could have been Sabathia’s final start ever in the majors.
Even with the postseason ahead.
Last Friday, manager Aaron Boone alluded to move to the bullpen for Sabathia.
“I would expect potentially a different role moving forward in the final week or so in the season when you could see him out of the pen a little bit,” Boone said. “His situation will probably be a little bit fluid.”
Sabathia has performed as a reliever on just one occasion during his 19-year MLB career. That was in Game 5 of the 2011 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers when he went 1.1 innings and allowed a run on two hits.
The return of Luis Severino has provided the Yankees with a clear blueprint for a four-man rotation for the playoffs as he’ll join fellow starters Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and JA Happ.
Sabathia and New York’s unlikely ace, Domingo German, would be the odd men out in the bullpen.
The Yankees’ postseason rotation isn’t anywhere near set in stone yet, but Boone is starting to shift things around in anticipation of fall baseball.
He pushed Happ’s scheduled start on Thursday back a day — both pitcher and manager stated that the lefty is healthy — and penciled in Tanaka instead.
The Yankees look to clinch the AL East with a win on Thursday night against the Angels.