C.C. Sabathia gets win No. 17, beats Angels 6-1 with complete game
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Cleveland hasn’t had a Cy Young Award winner since Gaylord Perry in 1972, and hasn’t boasted a 20-game winner since Perry did it two years later. One drought, however, consumes Indians’ ace C.C. Sabathia even more.
“We haven’t won a World Series in about 50-something years. That’s a longer drought than any of those other two. So that’s all I’m going to hear about, honestly,” Sabathia said.
He’s been doing his best to give Cleveland a chance to fix that this season, beating the Los Angeles Angels 6-1 Friday night with his 17th win of the season, tying him for the major league lead.
“There are a lot of guys having great years,” Sabathia said. “Josh Beckett has been dealing all year, Dan Haren’s been dealing and John Lackey across the hall has been dealing. So you can give it to a number of guys. But I don’t think about that. If I can just stay healthy and help this team get a ring, that’s all that matters.”
Sabathia (17-7), who had his fourth complete game this season, tied Boston’s Beckett and the Yankees’ Chien-Ming Wang in wins, while tying the career high he established as a rookie in 2001—the last time the Indians made the playoffs.
“The only thing C.C. concerns himself with is how his team does when he goes out there and pitches,” manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s very unselfish. But without a doubt, he’s a Cy Young candidate and he’s been as important to us as anybody in this locker room.”
Cleveland’s lead over Detroit in the Central remained at five games, as did the Angels’ nine-game lead over Seattle in the West, due to the Tigers’ 12-6 win over the Mariners.
“I really didn’t want to put any pressure on myself and say this was a big game,” Sabathia said. “I just tried to think of it as another start and just go out there and throw strikes, keep things close and get a win.”
Sabathia did not allow a runner past first base until the eighth, when the Angels got their only run on Juan Rivera’s RBI single. He allowed five hits and induced four double-play grounders, two of them by Robb Quinlan.
“The guys were turning them,” Sabathia said. “I was just trying to get the ball down in the zone. They’re really aggressive, but I was able to get some changeups over the plate and they were pounding them into the ground.”
The complete game was the 16th in 216 career starts for the three-time All-Star. Three of the Angels’ hits didn’t leave the infield, and two of them were line drives off Sabathia’s body—one by Maicer Izturis off his left thigh, the other by Howie Kendrick off his right shoulder.
“We didn’t go out there the first time. But when the second one hit him, I figured we’d better at least go out and talk to him,” Wedge said. “He didn’t like it. He’s a tough one. He really stepped up for us. We needed him, and he was there. Those double plays really picked us up tonight.”
Ervin Santana (6-13) was charged with three runs—two earned—and six hits over 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander left the game trailing 3-0 after giving up two-out RBI singles to Jhonny Peralta and Kenny Lofton in the sixth.
“It was another good outing by Ervin. He was hitting his spots and throwing the ball well,” Mathis said. “He’s got a lot more confidence and he’s just letting the ball go. He’s throwing his slider where it needs to be, so we’re definitely seeing progress.”
Angels All-Star right fielder Vladimir Guerrero, who missed his third straight game because of tendinitis in his right triceps, had a CT scan on Saturday and is day to day.
Garret Anderson’s streak of consecutive games with an RBI ended at 12 games, two shy of the AL record set by Tris Speaker in May 1928 with the Philadelphia Athletics, and five off the major league mark Ray Grimes set in 1922 with the Chicago Cubs. Anderson was 0-for-4 and came to bat each time with the bases empty.
Santana matched zeros with Sabathia until the fifth, when Peralta led off with a single and Franklin Gutierrez beat out an infield hit on a bang-bang play as shortstop Orlando Cabrera backed up on the slow bouncer. The Indians executed a double steal as Casey Blake struck out, and Peralta continued home when Jeff Mathis’ throw sailed into left field.
Switch-hitting CF Gary Matthews Jr. did not start. He is batting .180 right-handed and is 5-for-20 lifetime against Sabathia. … The Angels’ starting outfield consisted of Quinlan in LF, Reggie Willits in CF and Rivera in RF. Anderson was the DH. It was the first time neither Anderson, Matthews nor Guerrero started in the outfield since June 27. … Switch-hitting 3B baseman Chone Figgins also didn’t start for the Angels. He still can’t swing right-handed without pain because of a bruised left wrist. He won’t take batting practice from the right side until Tuesday.