On Wednesday night, New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia placed his name on the list of yet another rare baseball club.
With the Yankees beating the Tampa Bay Rays 12-1, Sabathia became the 48th pitcher in MLB history to record 250 wins. That’s pretty darned impressive.
To put that into grim perspective, because that’s my role around these parts, Sabathia has now won as many games in his career as the San Francisco Giants have won since April 11, 2016. That’s amazing/horrifying.
Sabathia’s entrance to the 250-win club was rather poetic. 12 years after winning the Cy Young Award with Cleveland, Sabathia turned back the clock against last year’s winner, Blake Snell.
When the 2007 Cy Young winner faces the 2018 Cy Young Winner, you kind of expect the latter to get the better of the matchup.
Yet Sabathia went six strong innings and allowed just six baserunners, while striking out seven and giving up just one run. Snell, on the other hand, got popped for six earned runs and retired only one batter.
It was a fun game, if you’re not a Rays fan. And certainly a game that Sabathia won’t forget.
It’s been a big year for Sabathia, who was rumored to be considering retirement, before opting to come back for a 19th and final season, and an 11th with the Yankees.
At the start of the season the six-time All-Star - who led the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio twice - recorded his 3,000th career K, becoming just the 17th player in MLB history to do so.
He’s making his last year count.
Sabathia’s inclusion to the club is also poignant. As baseball has evolved, nothing has changed more than pitching strategies. Starters pitch fewer innings, meaning they’re less likely to be the pitcher of record. The 241 innings Sabathia threw in 2007 wouldn’t happen today, nor would the 10 complete games he recorded in 2008.
Joining the 250-win club is going to become a lot more rare going forward. A lot more rare.
Which makes Sabathia’s achievement that much more special.