CC struggles on Opening Day but comes back strong

Since CC Sabathia has become a Yankee there really isn’t much bad to say about the guy. He carried the team on his back to a 2009 World Series championship, he’s finished at least 4th in the Cy Young voting all three years, and he has 59 wins in that span.

However, we got a reminder yesterday that he isn’t perfect as he struggled through six innings, giving up five runs and a pair of round trippers. That tends to happen to him a lot on Opening Day.

After yesterday’s performance CC now has a 5.66 ERA on Opening Day. Even worse, since he started pitching Opening Day annually in 2006, his ERA is a huge 7.39. If you include games that he pitched that were not Opening Day but his first game instead, his ERA comes down only slightly to a still¬†unmanageable¬†5.32. Anyway you look at it, The Big Man has performed poorly in first starts.

There is good news though – he recovers quite well.

Only twice has he given up more than three runs, in his rookie year and in 2006. In his 11 career 2nd starts, CC has a beautiful 2.06 ERA. If you cutoff the numbers at 2006 again, the year he started regularly pitching Opening Day, that ERA drops to an amazing 1.36. Even if you leave out the 2nd starts where the 1st one wasn’t Opening Day, it’s a 1.82 ERA.

So while we maybe should have been on the lookout for some rust yesterday, the Orioles don’t stand much of a chance next week because CC settles in quick.

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