Standing on the verge of becoming the first Yankee pitcher to win 20 games in consecutive seasons since Tommy John did so in 1979-80, CC Sabathia takes the hill tonight against the Blue Jays in the series opener at the Rogers Centre.
Sabathia, the indisputable ace of the Yankee rotation, sits at 19-8 with three or possibly four starts remaining, is likely to reach the 20 win plateau, and could even surpass his career high of 21 victories set last season.
The colossal lefty has to like his chances of achieving the feat in tonight's start, as he is 6-1 in his career at Rogers Centre, owning a 2.19 ERA and a 0.912 WHIP.
At the Blue Jays home in 2011, he has only made one start, but it was an eight inning outing, in which he allowed one run on three hits while striking out eight.
Overall, in three starts against the Blue Jays this season, Sabathia is 3-0 with a 2.59 ERA and a 0.904 WHIP, and has struck out 21 in 24.1 innings, while only walking five.
In five starts against Toronto as a Yankee, CC has emerged victorious in each outing, and has only allowed 10 earned runs in 40.2 innings.
Toronto enters the series on a slight roll, as they have won six of their previous nine contests, but the last time they faced New York, during the first weekend of September, they were swept at Yankee Stadium, and scored only nine runs in three games.
They will have a tough task ahead of them, slowing down a Yankee team on the verge of clinching a playoff berth, especially with CC on the mound.
CC seems to be getting back to his best after a difficult August in which he allowed 10 hits in four of his six starts. Though he went 3-2, Sabathia wasn't as sharp as he is capable of being, and opponents feasted upon his offerings, hitting .331 for the month.
September has seen him return to form somewhat, and he has resembled the force that he was earlier in the season. He is just one start removed from striking out 10 Blue Jays in 7.1 innings in a 9-3 Yankee victory on September 4.
With a handful of starts left, Sabathia can focus on readying himself for the postseason, where he will be relied upon heavily to lead a shaky New York staff. Along the way, he just might make a little Yankee history.