Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Is the pitching getting better or is it just me?

2010 has already had some extraordinarily special pitching moments and we're not even in mid June.

Either the steroid era is really over or the pitchers are on something.
And it's great for baseball in my opinion.

We have had Ubaldo Jimenez throwing a no hitter and putting up numbers that would be eye popping in a pitchers park let alone the zero G of Coors Field.

We have had Dallas Braden throwing a perfect game on Mother's Day (and seeing his grandmother trash talk A-Rod to boot!)

We had Roy Halladay throwing a perfect game in Miami.

We had the Armando Galarraga spoiled perfect game.

We had Daisuke Matsuzaka nearly throw a no hitter.

We had Stephen Strasburg's mind boggling debut.

We had ancient Jamie Moyer throwing a shutout.

We've seen Tim Lincecum, Jon Lester, Adam Wainwright, Clay Buchholz, Matt Cain and Josh Johnson all throw like aces.

We've seen Jaime Garcia, Mike Pelfrey, David Price, Phil Hughes, Mitch Talbot, Mike Leake and Mat Latos all blossom into top starters.

We've seen comeback seasons from Tim Hudson, Ervin Santana, Livan Hernandez and Carlos Silva.

There's a surplus of Cy Young contenders and well pitched games with intriguing match ups are becoming more and more common.

Just today you have Toronto's Shaun Marcum going up against Tampa Bay's David Price and St. Louis' Adam Wainwright is going up against L.A.'s Clayton Kershaw.

Not to mention Dallas Braden, Jonathan Sanchez, CC Sabathia and Clay Buccholz are all taking the hill as well.

Look, I know the home run is sexy and there is a sense that most fans just want to see a slugfest... but I don't believe that.

I think that if you get a dominating pitcher facing a kick ass hitter, it makes for a confrontation unlike any in sport.

How exciting is a home run into the upper deck when the pitcher is a scrub just up from AAA, or a middle reliever who barely has a job, or Kyle Farnsworth?

Maybe this IS the end of the steroid era for hitters... the slugger happy AL hasn't seen a 40 home run hitter since A-Rod's 54 taters in 2007.

And perhaps when someone says "they are a 30 home run hitter" or "they are good for 95-100 RBI" it won't sound like they are describing a platoon reserve shortstop.

Maybe we can expect some real dominating pitching. Maybe all the nonsense that we'll never see another 300 game winner can end.

Maybe games will move quicker. Maybe runs will be at a premium and when a team falls behind by a few runs, it will make the game more tense instead of having everyone think "Ah don't worry... this will be a 9-8 game by the end."

It's as if they are playing BASEBALL and not just playing home run derby!

What a novel concept!

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  1. Good to see the pitching looking better, Sully. I'll take a 1-0 pitcher's duel over a 10-9 shootout any day.

  2. Here, here. I much prefer the well-played, well-pitched, tense 2-1 pitchers duel over seeing fat guys like Matt Stairs, John Jaha and Larry Sheets hitting homers off sucky pitchers in 8-6 games.