Afterall Mike Mussina won 20 games last season, and where did the Yankees end up? That's right, on the golf course in October.
This year, it's all about a championship.
So let's not blow this loss out of proportion.
Sabathia allowed nine runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and five walks in an ugly 13-4 loss at Tampa on Friday. Sabathia had gone 9-0 in his previous 11 starts with the Yankees winning all 11. The last time he lost was July 27 in Tampa.
Offensively the Yankees had little going against talented rookie David Price, who allowed one run on two hits in seven innings. Juan Miranda hit his first career home run, a two-run shot in the eighth, giving the team 242 on the season to tie the franchise record set in 2004.
Sabathia was nothing short of awful. He had no command of his fastball and was in trouble for the start. He loaded the bases in the first with no outs, but after getting two outs, failed to escape the jam when he walked Gabe Kapler before B.J. Upton tripled to clear the bases and make it 4-0.
It only got worse from there, highlighted by Upton's cycle, the first in the short history of the Tampa franchise.
But before anyone starts panicking about CC in the postseason, I have some advice: don't.
CC will be entering the playoffs with the benefit of not having to carry the Yankees down the stretch or burdened with an overly heavy workload.
He has thrown 230 innings, which is far less than the 253 he threw in carrying the Brewers to the playoffs last year and fewer than the 241 in 2007 with the Indians. He is mentally fresh, physically strong and his confidence will not take a hit from this outing.
If A.J. Burnett gets hammered Sunday, I'd be more concerned simply because he's shown himself to be very streaky. CC (19-8, 3.37 ERA) has been remarkably consistent, and I don't think this is anything more than a hiccup.
Heck, in 2000, Andy Pettitte allowed nine runs in 1-1/3 inning in his final start of the season, but went on to win his first start in the ALDS and go 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in five postseason starts as the Yanks won the World Series.
So Sabathia didn't get 20 wins this year. So what?
Since 2003, all Yankees fans have had to celebrate has been individual accomplishments.
I say enough of that.
The mission is World Series title No. 27. A 20-game winner merely would have been a cherry on top.
Runners In Scoring Position
Since A-Rod's Return May 8
Vs. Red Sox
Saturday at Rays, 7:08 p.m., YES
Pettitte (14-7, 4.11) vs. Jeff Niemann (12-6, 3.94)
The only thing Pettitte has to do is show that his shoulder is fine and that he is healthy. The Yankees had Sabathia on a pitch count of no more than 90, expect a similar count for Pettitte.