Daily Windup (cont.)
Stud of the Day
When is Sabathia ever going to slow down? How can he not slow down? The man is unreal. Unstoppable. Unbreakable.
Another complete game. (That's seven in 17 starts with the Brewers, and 10 overall this year, which happens to be more than 26 teams threw in '08.) Another win. (He finishes, with both the Indians and Brewers, 17-10 with a 2.70 ERA). Another incredibly good clutch performance on short rest.
That's 253 innings this year, with the postseason still to come. More than 1,000 batters faced. More than 3,800 pitches. Better than 250 strikeouts.
After CC threw almost 260 innings last year, counting the playoffs with Cleveland, I doubted whether he'd have enough to make it through the season. Man, was I wrong. I wasn't even close. He's never slowing down. Ever.
Dud of the Day
It's impossible to pin the Mets' failures on one group, though we all try, and it's downright unfair to tag one member of that group as the biggest dud of the pack. But, hey, Scott Schoeneweis, you threw the ball. You get the prize.
Schoeneweis was the latest member of the Mets' bull-pain to blow it, offering up an easy fastball to Florida backup Wes Helms, of all people, in the eighth inning of Sunday's must-have win with the score tied, 2-2. Of course, it wasn't all Schoeneweis' fault. Right-handers were hitting .327 against the lefty Schoeneweis. Helms is a right-handed swinger. What the heck was Schoeneweis doing anywhere close to a mound with a ball in his hand at that point?
Given the alternatives, though -- basically, none -- manager Jerry Manuel went with what he had. And when that didn't work, he went with his next pitcher, Luis Ayala. Who gave up another home run. See the problem?
Quote of the Day
"The only way we're going to feel good about this, the only way we might not hate each other in the offseason, is we win. That's it. It's going to take a little while to get over this one if we don't go where we're supposed to go."
-- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the makeup game Monday against the Tigers and the possible play-in game Tuesday against the Twins
Ryan Braun was not good this September, suffering from a back injury that had him hitting .206 going into Sunday's finale against the Cubs. And then he unloaded a two-run home run off of Bobby Howry in the eighth -- it was Braun's 37th homer of the year -- and all was forgotten. Braun's blast might not have been as important as CC's start. But it was pretty close.
The Mets' bullpen is, of course, an easy target. And we all love easy targets. But let's not forget this: In the final three games against the Marlins, in games they had to have, the Mets scored a total of five runs. Five.
Carlos Beltran accounted for two of those with his fate-delaying homer on Sunday. It was the only home run in the series by the Mets. The Mets had a total of four extra-base hits in the series. They batted .189.
I don't have an NL Cy Young vote, but if I did, it'd be hard to not throw my support to Tim Lincecum, who struck out 13 Dodgers on Sunday to finish a stellar season. Some numbers: 262 strikeouts (1st), 10.51 strikeouts per nine (1st), a .221 batting average against (1st), a 2.62 ERA (2nd), 18 wins (2nd), 227 innings (3rd), 25 quality starts (2nd). Arizona's Brandon Webb had a great year, and Johan Santana was pure money with the Mets. But Lincecum would be my pick.
A question on CC: Will his suitors on the free-agent market this winter worry about all those innings and that streak of starts on short rest?
While we all were watching CC deal and the Mets reel, Arizona's Randy Johnson was busy nailing down the 295th win of his storied career with a complete-game two-hitter against the Rockies. All the Big Unit allowed were two singles to Troy Tulowitzki.
By virtue of six good innings against the Red Sox on Sunday, the Yankees' Mike Mussina is a 20-game winner. And if you needed that to know what a good pitcher Mussina has been over his 18-year career, where have you been?