Harden, C.C., and Sut
Through last night's play, here is what Harden and Sabathia have done for their NL Central teams, alongside the contribution of another mid-season acquisition, who, once upon a time, made a huge impact when he joined the Cubs from the American League:
|Rick Sutcliffe (thru 8/19/84)||13||1||94||87||93||32||3.26||11||1|
(Note: Sabathia's first start for the Brewers was on July 8, Harden's Cub debut was on July 12, and Sutcliffe's first game for the Cubs was on June 19, 1984.
Thoughts after the jump...
Sabathia has been brilliant for the Brewers, with only one rocky start in the mix, a 124-pitch, 6IP+ game against the Cubs. The question that has arisen around the former Indian is whether Ned Yost is going to pitch him to death in the course of chasing a post-season berth and getting all he can out of the team's prize pick-up in what is likely to be his only season pitching for the Brewers. In fact, Yost had to explain himself after he allowed Sabathia to throw a career-high 130 pitches in Monday night's 9-3 win against the Astros. (Sabathia's 5 complete games as a Milwaukeean are more than every other National League team has thrown so far this year.)
Piniella is aware at all times of Harden's fragility and is managing him accordingly. We know he is aware of this at all times, because he mentions it constantly. As the skipper said after Tuesday night's game, "We've just got to watch him, keep him fresh, keep him strong."
Lastly about Sutcliffe, the big righty finished 16-1, 2.69, and was integral to the Cubs' '84 NL East title. His coronation as NL Cy Young Award winner, however, was arugably a mistake by the Baseball Writers. Dwight Gooden, who went 17-9 in what was his rookie year, fanned 276 men (against 73 walks) in just 218 IP. Gooden's Mets finished 90-72, 6.5 games behind the division-winning Cubs.