CC Sabathia, a former pitcher for the Indians, Brewers and Yankees attended Friday’s game between the Angels and Indians in Cleveland and enjoyed the opportunity to see Shohei Ohtani play in person.
Sabathia, who was called up to six All-Star Games and was the 2007 American League Cy Young Award winner, has been a fan of Ohtani since the Japanese’s rookie season in 2018, and says he’s always in awe of it. what the double-track player does.
“When I saw him play for the first time, I said he was the best player I had ever seen,” Sabathia said. And people were upset by that comment. But nobody does what he does at that level. It is amazing to see it. I see all their exits. I live on the east coast, so I have to set an alarm, but I might be his number one fan. “
Asked what strikes him most about Ohtani, who is leading the majors right now with 40 homers while still 8-1 with a .279 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 100.00 innings as a pitcher, is season, Sabathia had a surprising response.
“His speed and how tall he is,” said Sabathia of Ohtani, who also has 18 stolen bases this season. “I did not realize it until 2019, when I could see it [en persona]. He grounded Didi [Gregorius] and arrived safely. And before that, he hit a 95-mile fastball for now of [Luis] Severino. There is nothing I cannot do. I haven’t seen him pitch live, but I’ve seen him a lot on TV, and he’s really gotten into his rhythm as a pitcher. More strikes, throw more to make contact. As long as you stay healthy, we will be seeing something special for years to come. “
Sabathia spent most of his career in the American League except for a brief stint with the Brewers, but he used to talk about how much he loved hitting. That’s one of the reasons he enjoys watching Ohtani play so much.
“That’s why I love this boy,” Sabathia said. “He is doing what every child wants. Right now the Little League World Series is going on, and the best pitcher on the team is a pitcher… and he hits home runs and he’s the best player. Ohtani is playing Little League in the majors. I thought I had the ability to hit, but nothing like that. “
Had Sabathia in his heyday retired to Ohtani at the plate? Judging by his response, even in retirement, the southpaw hasn’t lost confidence.
“I definitely would have taken him out, no doubt,” Sabathia said, letting out a laugh. “Definitely. I would throw sliders and straight lines with two glued seams ”. (MLB in Spanish)