Saturday, September 18, 2010
20 W's = Cy for CC, World Series for Yanks?
PITCHER OF THE NIGHT
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia can count to 20 after all. On Saturday, he allowed three runs over seven innings to win his 20th game of the season in the Yankees 11-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles. It's the first time in his career he's reached the 20-win plateau and he's the first in MLB this season to reach the mark.
The historical significance is high for a Yankees pitcher to be the first to 20 wins. History says he will win the Cy Young award. Since the award was first given out in 1956, Yankees pitchers have been the first in MLB to 20 wins in a season now four times (Sabathia being the fourth). The previous three times, those Yankees pitchers went on to win the Cy Young that same year and the Yankees went on to win the World Series.
The lefty has now won 156 games in his career. Since 1900, that total is tied with Vida Blue for the 2nd-most wins by a lefty who began the season at age 29 or younger. Blue and Sabathia are well behind the leader in that department, which belongs to Baseball Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser with 185.
HITTER OF THE NIGHT
Nobody in baseball is as hot as Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. As mentioned earlier in this very spot, this month has the potential to be a historic month for Tulowitzki.
On Saturday, he tied some history when he homered twice in a 12-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. With 14 HR, he tied the modern-day record (since 1900) for the most HR in a 15-game span previously held by Albert Belle in 1995 and tied by Barry Bonds during his record-breaking 2001 season.
The two HR Tulowitzki hit on Saturday sets a Rockies record for a single month. The previous high was set at 12 done five previous times, first by Dante Bichette in 1995 and tied lastly by Tulowitzki's former teammate, Matt Holliday in September 2007.
Tulowitzki has the possibility of reaching other records over the final month of the regular season. One record in his grasp: the most HR in regular-season games played in September and October. The current record-holder belongs to Belle when he hit 17 in 1995. Tulowitzki is also averaging a HR every five at-bats. That rate would only be bested by Bonds' 2001 season at 4.81. His current OPS of 1.478 this month is 4th-best in MLB history for games played in September/October.