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Against Sabathia, It's Spray Or Die

Tonight is CC Sabathia night for the Phillies offense. Here are some introductory numbers on the Brewers ace:

  • He never threw less than 91 pitches in a game this season.
  • In his first game as a Brewer, he walked five. In the 16 starts after that, he walked 20.
  • In only one of his 17 Brewer starts was he not able to finish the sixth inning.
  • His totals as a Brewer are amazing — 11-2, 1.65 ERA, 128 K, 25 BB. That’s a K:BB ratio of 5:1. Insane.

Is there a way to beat him? Well, Sabathia doesn’t walk guys. He throws strikes, leading to a lot of strikeouts or ground outs. He does let up a couple hits per game, so it’s best to be a little aggresive, get your bat out there, try to poke it through or bloop it in. Take it from professional hitter Micah Owings, who beat Sabathia with a pinch-hit single earlier in September:

“I’d never faced him before. I tried to put something out there, and I got the hit. I was fortunate enough to get a little piece of it and sneak it over Prince’s head.”

Okay, so Micah Owings isn’t going to be the voice that wins it for the Phils. But against Sabathia, you can’t quite wait for your pitch. You have to go after it, find any way to get the ball into the outfield. I could see Jayson Werth stealing a hit this way, and I can definitely see Shane Victorino dropping something in. But one thing the Phils cannot do is swing for the fences — he just doesn’t pitch that high. If the Phils stay low, attack and spray, they can beat Sabathia. At least get two or three runs. Maybe, just maybe, that would be enough.

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