Blog Entry

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition

Posted on: June 16, 2011 9:49 pm
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Maybe I'm weird, but I love watching American League pitchers hit.

Read that carefully, because I didn't say I love watching American League pitchers strike out. Or ground weakly back to the mound.

I love it when they hit . . . which doesn't happen often.

But if I could name one highlight from 14-plus years of interleague play, it might be CC Sabathia's 440-foot home run at Dodger Stadium in 2008.

So if there's one thing I'm looking forward to this weekend, as interleague play resumes, it's watching Sabathia hit at Wrigley Field.

I know, he's done it before, going 0-for-2 with a sacrifice when he was pitching for the Brewers. I know, Sabathia has come to the plate 101 times in the big leagues (about half of them during his half-season in the National League), plus five more times in the postseason.

And I know, American League managers fear these interleague road games, worrying that a pitcher could get hurt while hitting or running the bases (as the Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang did in (also in 2008).

But just as I loved talking to Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson about his hitting, I love the idea of Sabathia swinging for the fences Sunday night at Wrigley.

No AL pitcher has hit a home run since 2009, when Josh Beckett homered in Philadelphia and Mark Buehrle hit one in Milwaukee.

In the 14-plus years of interleague play, American League pitchers have hit 16 home runs (none by a Yankee). Only Sabathia and Beckett have hit more than one, with two apiece.

Sabathia owns a .258 batting average in his 97 career at-bats, which means he has a higher career batting average than Dan Uggla . . . or Andruw Jones . . . or B.J. Upton.

And with three career home runs (he hit one in the National League with the Brewers), Sabathia has more than Francisco Cervelli or Chris Getz.

Anyway, there was a point this week where we all wondered if this weekend's Wrigley highlight would be the Yankee shortstop getting to 3,000 hits. Now, the highlight I'm looking for is Sabathia's 26th career hit -- but only if it's his fourth career home run.

On to 3 to Watch:

1. We interrupt all this talk of pitchers hitting to talk about a matchup of two pitchers who were traded for each other: Edwin Jackson, who went to the White Sox, and Daniel Hudson, who went to the Diamondbacks. They meet up in White Sox at Diamondbacks, Friday night (9:40 ET) at Chase Field. So far, since the trade, Jackson is 8-7 with a .383 ERA in 24 starts. Hudson is 14-6 with a 2.83 ERA in 25 starts. It's more one-sided than that, because Jackson is making $8.35 million and a free agent after this year. Hudson is making $419,000 and isn't even arbitration-eligible for another year. Oh, and Hudson is a .214 hitter. Jackson's career average is .147.

2. If Sabathia is the most successful AL pitcher at the plate, Justin Verlander is the least. In five years' worth of at-bats with the Tigers, Verlander is 0-for-16, with 10 strikeouts (although he does have five successful sacrifice bunts). He has never walked or been hit by a pitch, so his OPS is a perfect .000. Jon Lester is just behind him at 0-for-15, but Lester had a walk and a sacrifice fly last year. Verlander gets another chance at the plate in Tigers at Rockies, Sunday afternoon (3:10 ET) at Coors Field. He also gets another chance at the mound, which means he gets another chance to prove he's now the best pitcher in baseball -- which means a little more than his lack of success with the bat.

3. I probably shouldn't be getting your (or my) hopes up about watching Sabathia hit. He started two games in National League parks last year, and went 1-for-5 (a single), with three strikeouts. The year before, he went 1-for-4 (also a single). So no guarantees when he starts against Randy Wells in Yankees at Cubs, Sunday night (8:05 ET) at Wrigley Field.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2012 8:35 pm
 

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 7:42 am
 

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 1:00 pm
 

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 9:53 am
 

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 9:04 am
 

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition




Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 4:08 pm
 

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition



Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 21, 2011 10:11 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 9:32 am
 

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition

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Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: June 19, 2011 9:05 am
 

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition

Maybe I'm weird, but I love watching American League pitchers hit.
Weird? No. Pathetic? Yes.


On to 3 to Watch:

1. We interrupt all this talk of pitchers hitting to talk about a matchup of two pitchers who were traded for each other: , who went to the , and , who went to the . They meet up in White Sox at Diamondbacks, Friday night (9:40 ET) at Chase Field. So far, since the trade, Jackson is 8-7 with a .383 ERA in 24 starts. Hudson is 14-6 with a 2.83 ERA in 25 starts. It's more one-sided than that, because Jackson is making $8.35 million and a free agent after this year. Hudson is making $419,000 and isn't even arbitration-eligible for another year. Oh, and Hudson is a .214 hitter. Jackson's career average is .147.

2. If Sabathia is the most successful AL pitcher at the plate, is the least. In five years' worth of at-bats with the , Verlander is 0-for-16, with 10 strikeouts (although he does have five successful sacrifice bunts). He has never walked or been hit by a pitch, so his OPS is a perfect .000. is just behind him at 0-for-15, but Lester had a walk and a sacrifice fly last year. Verlander gets another chance at the plate in Tigers at , Sunday afternoon (3:10 ET) at Coors Field. He also gets another chance at the mound, which means he gets another chance to prove he's now the best pitcher in baseball -- which means a little more than his lack of success with the bat.

3. I probably shouldn't be getting your (or my) hopes up about watching Sabathia hit. He started two games in National League parks last year, and went 1-for-5 (a single), with three strikeouts. The year before, he went 1-for-4 (also a single). So no guarantees when he starts against in Yankees at , Sunday night (8:05 ET) at
 Like I said, pathetic. How does this guy get a column writing nonsense like this?

What's next, I really like the bunt? Then we get his top 3 bunters. Then what, I really like double switches? Pathetic.


Sorry, but it's time to bring the DH to the NL. It's time to even the leagues @ 15. Having 2 sets of rules for one league is stupid. As stupid as a Knobler article about the best hitting pitchers. Interleague play eliminates the intrigue and any justification of 2 separate rules for the leagues. It's time for change. Speaking of change, when is CBS going to get a real baseball columnist to go along with Scott Miller?



Since: Feb 19, 2010
Posted on: June 19, 2011 8:11 am
 

3 to Watch: The watch CC hit edition

That's why we should get rid of the DH. It's fun to see pitchers hit and if all the AL pitchers could hit regularly we would see more homeruns hit by pitchers.



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