CC Sabathia beat the Twins last night. That’s nothing new, he always beats the Twins. But it was significant for another reason: it was his 200th career win.
That’s 200 wins against 108 losses in his 13th season. Sabathia turns 33 in a couple of weeks and he’s been remarkably durable in his career. As such, it’s not a stretch to suggest that he could, quite possibly, win 300 games before he’s said and done. Being conservative, let’s say he wins seven more games this year. That puts him at 207. He’d then only need to average 15 wins and change over six more years to reach that magic milestone by his age-38 season. If he pitches through his age-40 season he’d only need 11 wins a year and change.
And if and when he does that a bunch of people will, once again, say that we’re unlikely to see another 300-game winner. Because people like doing that so darn much for some reason.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: