Commentary

Desperate Yanks can count on CC

An ace on the hill should give the Bombers a winning hand in Game 4

Updated: October 17, 2012, 2:18 PM ET
By Rob Parker | ESPNNewYork.com

DETROIT -- As frustrating as it has been to watch the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, you can understand why some fans would want them to just lose on Wednesday night and simply get it over with.

The torture, the pain of it all.

With the Yankees' bats so historically silent, few want this best-of-seven series to go past what could be a sweep if the Detroit Tigers win Game 4 at Comerica Park.

[+] EnlargeCC Sabathia
John Munson/The Star-Ledger/US PresswireSabathia has been a horse in the postseason so far.

There's only one reason to believe that the Tigers won't get to use their brooms: It's CC Sabathia, the Yankees' ace.

There will be no quit in Sabathia, no let's-forget-it-and-think-about-next-year. The dominant lefty is the reason many people thought the Yankees had a real shot to get to the World Series again -- the first time since 2009.

You saw what he did against the Baltimore Orioles in the first round. He pitched two gems, including a series-clinching complete game that gave me goose bumps. It was that good.

You might not be able to count on the Yankees putting two hits back-to-back right now, but you can count on CC coming through.

Right fielder Nick Swisher said there's no better guy to have on the mound with the season on the brink.

"He's been our ace, our horse all year long,'' said Swisher, who was benched for Game 3. "We're excited to have him out there.''

For sure, this series against the Tigers feels like it has been no contest because the Yankees' offense has been invisible.

In reality, the Yankees -- who finished with the best record in the AL -- have been right there with the Tigers, including the pitching. In the last two games of the series, the Tigers have scored two earned runs and the Yankees have just one.

But in those two games, the Yankees gave up two unearned runs in Game 2 and one in Game 3.

Manager Joe Girardi continues to believe that not only will he continue to get great starting pitching, but that his hitters will hit -- even as his team runs out of time.

"What has happened has happened, and you have to find a way to score runs [Wednesday],'' he said after the Tigers beat the Yankees 2-1 in Game 3. "And you have your ace on the mound, and you see what happens.

"Win a game [Wednesday], and then let's see what happens.''

It's truly the right approach. The Yankees can't win four games today -- just one. And it's possible with CC, who has been someone you Can Count on.

Sabathia isn't worried about his team not scoring a lot of runs. His job is to stop the Tigers. That's his focus.

"I always want to go out and try to shut the other team down and give us as many opportunities to score,'' he said. "With the way we are -- as cold as we are, we can get just as hot, especially with our lineup and the veterans we have and the great players we have.

"We always have faith that if you go out there and do your job, you are going to score runs, and we have all year.''

The Yankees have been a comeback team all season. They showed a lot by never giving up sole possession of first place to the Orioles, who put incredible pressure on them in the final six weeks.

In the last two weeks of the season, the Yankees had eye-popping comebacks against the A's in extra innings, the Blue Jays and Red Sox. They were all must-have games, and the Bronx Bombers won them.

Even though they didn't win Game 1 against the Tigers, the Yankees were impressive in wiping out a four-run deficit in the ninth.

It's for that reason that the Yankees honestly believe they can complete mission impossible. Starting tonight.

"We have a lot of great talent here; guys that have been in a situation like that before,'' said second baseman Robinson Cano, who snapped an unthinkable 0-for-29 slide, the worst in Yankees' history, with a two-out single in the ninth inning of Game 3. "We have a great team.

"We have to keep our heads up and just be ready for [Wednesday].''

CC provides much-needed ammo.

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