CC Sabathia: Analyzing The Yankees' ALCS Game 1 Starting Pitcher

CC Sabathia will be taking the mound for the Yankees in Game 1 of their ALCS showdown against the Rangers. To help get you ready, we offer the following scouting report.


6'7, 290
237.2 innings
3.18 ERA
7.5 K/9
2.8 BB/9

2010 Playoffs

6 innings, 4 runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts


As difficult as he is to hit, CC Sabathia is a pretty simple pitcher to understand, in terms of what he throws. Around 60 percent of the time, he works with a fastball in the 90-94 mph range, and it has a fair bit of sink. He has one breaking ball - a slider - that sits in the high-70s to low-80s. To close out his arsenal, he throws a changeup in the mid-80s. The change has a very similar motion as his fastball, which is the key to its success.

Facing Righties

As a southpaw, Sabathia throws a lot of changeups to right-handed hitters. He'll seldom use it to start off an at bat, but as he gets deeper, he'll go offspeed and try to locate the change somewhere around the low-away corner. Very rarely will he throw a change inside, and that's usually a mistake. Sabathia isn't afraid to show righties his slider, but when he throws it, he'll try to bury it down and in, making it less of a get-ahead pitch and more of a swing-and-miss pitch. He will throw his fastball all over the place, in any count, with a slight tendency towards the inner half.

Facing Lefties

Sabathia's almost pure fastball-slider against lefties, as he puts his changeup on the shelf. Though he'll usually start hitters off with a fastball, he has a lot of confidence in his slider, and will try to catch hitters off guard by dropping it over the outer half. Early, and when he's behind in the count, Sabathia will stay around the zone. When he gets ahead, he'll go to the breaking ball more often, and he'll expand his zone to try to get hitters to chase down and away. The long and short of it is that CC Sabathia just gives left-handed hitters all kinds of fits. 

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