Game 1 wrap: Sabathia the smooth operator

By Jon Lane
In my postgame feature I wrote about how CC Sabathia is the atypical starting pitcher. I covered the team when David Wells was here and before each of his starts he blasted his stereo loud enough to be heard outside of the closed clubhouse door.

Wells, like many, believe they have to journey deep into the zone and get jacked up to get that extra edge. Sabathia? He’ll mingle and play a few games of RBI Baseball on the old-school Nintendo. Simply chilling out is something Andy Pettitte can relate to.

“There’s no sense in grinding all day long and in here,” Pettitte said. “If you can get locked in 30 minutes or so before your start, it’s usually, for me, it’s the easiest way to do it. And I think that’s kind of how ‘C’ is.”

‘C’ is also a guy who leads a power pitching staff that’s dominated opponents via the strikeout. Last season, Yankees starting pitchers ranked 19th with 618 strikeouts. In 2009, they were sixth with 777. Following Sabathia in Game 2 is Burnett. While he many not keep you at ease like the big lefty, when he’s on, Burnett is electric. And if he’s on, he has the stuff to turn out anyone’s lights.

Sabathia is the perfect guy for Burnett to follow, yet another definition of a staff ace.

“He’s had a huge impact on me,” Burnett said. “I’ve had the pleasure of following him often this year. There ain’t nothing like going after him. He sets the tone, he comes out and he attacks. He has that confidence, too. He’s prepared every fifth day. He works hard in between every fifth day. That’s what you want to see from your fellow starters. You want to see commitment and effort. He’s non stop through the whole season. To be able to throw that many innings and do what he does year in and year out, he’s definitely an ace, number one.”

Again, Burnett can drive you crazy, but he hasn’t melted in “big games” and will be presented with a golden opportunity to give the Yankees a 2-0 series lead before heading west.

Until later today, a day in which the forecast is again ominous, thanks for reading.

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