Turns out, Kelly Shoppach's hit to break up CC Sabathia's no-hitter was somewhat irrelevant. He was going to be the last hitter Sabathia faced regardless. No-hitter or not, Dave Robertson was going to replace him.
“It’s not something you want to do but you have to think big picture,” said Girardi, who, along with pitching coach Dave Eiland, had predetermined Sabathia’s pitch count. “I told Dave, 110-115 that was it. If he would have been under it, been at 105 in the ninth maybe I’d let him go out.”
Eiland said the decision was an easy one.
"That's our job to make those tough calls," Eiland said. "And it's for the betterment of him and the betterment of the team...We're trying to accomplish something here that we try to accomplish every year and to push the envelope on April 10 wouldn't make any sense."
Sabathia said "we would have been fighting out there on the mound" had Shoppach not gotten a hit. Yes, he was laughing, though he did say he would have tried to talk Girardi out of it.
Would he have succeeded?
“Probably not but I would have tried my best,” Sabathia said.
Sabathia said he's plenty happy with the victory, especially coming in a place he hasn't pitched well at in his career, but having a no-hitter on his resume would have been nice.
“It’s hard to say, I want to throw a no-hitter one day because it’s so hard to do and you have to be lucky,” Sabathia said. “But when you get that close, when you’re in the game, you want to have that happen to you.”