By Jason Klein
Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 9/29/10
No surprise. Another year, another playoff appearance for the Yankees.
Last night, the New York Yankees clinched a playoff berth for the fifteenth time in sixteen seasons, defeating Toronto 6-1. A subdued, business-like on-field celebration was followed by a reserved, yet champagne-soaked party in the clubhouse at Rogers Centre.
The low-key festivities came as no surprise; the Yankees always act like they’ve been there before…because, well, they have.
It also should come as no surprise when CC Sabathia is the man called upon to toe the rubber for Game 1 of the 2010 American League Division Series next week. Sabathia has been a horse for the Yankees in 2010, posting a 21-7 record and a 3.18 ERA. More importantly, he has won every big game he’s been asked to win this season.
“CC’s pretty much been doing that the whole year,” said Derek Jeter. “When we need him to step up for a big game, he’s been coming through for us. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Well, perhaps there is one other thing they could ask of him.
Sabathia helped lead the Yankees to their 27th World Series Championship in 2009, his first season with the club. Another October brings the same hefty expectations. The Yankees will rely heavily on their ace to navigate them through a potentially turbulent post season, anchoring an otherwise shaky pitching staff along the way.
He played the part well on Tuesday night, going 8 2/3 and only surrendering 1 run on 3 hits. He will be asked to give more of the same over the next four weeks, deep into October and early November.
If CC Sabathia can deliver, the Yankees have a shot to be the last team standing, celebrating their franchise’s 28th World Series Title, acting like they’ve been there before.
It’s a scenario that would surprise no one.
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