Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CC Sabathia, Francisco Liriano and Tommy John

2010 ALDS: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins


What do Game 1 starters CC Sabathia and Francisco Liriano have in common with Tommy John?

Well, for Sabathia it can be viewed as a dream and for Liriano a nightmare.

First Sabathia:

CC in his first two seasons with the Yankees has gone 19-8 and 21-7, for 40 overall wins. He is the first pitcher to win 40 or more games in his first two seasons with the Yankees since, you guessed it, Tommy John. John went 21-9 in 1979 and 22-9 in 1980, for a combined 43 wins in his first two seasons with the Yankees.

Now for Liriano:


The only connection Liriano has with Tommy John, other than both being pitchers, is that in Nov. 2006, Liriano underwent the famous and dreadful procedure known as Tommy John surgery.

Liriano started the 2006 season with a bang, going 12-3 with a 2.19 ERA, but in August he felt pain in his left elbow and went on the DL on August 11, 2006.

And thus began his LONG journey.

He missed the entire 2007 season and spent most of 2008 rehabbing in the minor leagues. In 2009, his first full year back after Tommy John surgery, he was a disappointing 5-13 with a 5.80 ERA. This season, however, he went 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA and it seems after 4 long years, he has finally fully recovered.

And later today he will start Game 1 of the ALDS.

So I guess we can say, Sabathia has joined Tommy John and Liriano has come back from Tommy John.

And for the record, John's 21-9 and 22-9 seasons with the Yankees were after he had, well, Tommy John surgery.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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