I'm glad that we now have this "proof", because had he earned his 15th victory against the Angels, he still would have been a total loser. Or if it was his only his 14 victory, we would still have to suspend our judgement. We can't blame John Harper for the writing that, but we sure can for this:
On the matter of pitching, after all, regardless of the era there are the Javier Vasquez types, pitchers whose stuff always seems to be better than their records, and then there are the Jack Morris types, pitchers whose records are more impressive than their ERA because they know how to win.
Sabathia gave the Yankees something of a Jack Morris game Sunday night, at least by the pitch-count limits of today's game, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned.
Harper then cites affirmative quotes from Joe Girardi, but oddly finishes by talking about Sabathia's shortcomings in the postseason, apparently implying that he forgets how to win once the playoffs roll around.
I get the feeling a lot of pitchers "know how to win" games when the guy who they are opposing gives up 8 runs. Craig from Shysterball points us to a Baseball Prospectus article which shows that Jack Morris was not uniquely adept at "pitching to the scoreboard" and shuns the notion in general. Pitchers shouldn't ever want to give up runs, and just like hitters trying to score them, can't really control when it happens, just how often it does in the long run.
Earlier this year, we noted that the Yankees were 11-11 in Sabathia's starts primarily because he was receiving the least run support out of any of their 4 regular starters. Since then, he's ripped off 5 straight victories while the team has averaged just under 8 runs per game in support of him. It's not rocket science or psychology here, folks. The guy is a good pitcher and when he's backed by a strong offensive performance, he's likely to walk away with the win.