Postgame Spread
You guys hangin' out? I'll hang out.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Ace-timist Report    

Interesting that all eight teams managed to set their rotations such that their best pitcher took the mound in Game 1 of the playoffs.  Usually there's at least one guy of Doug Davis's caliber who gets a Game 1 start, but not this year.  Even with the extra time between Sunday/Monday and the beginning of the round, you'd think with so many teams' playoff fates undecided until late that they wouldn't have the chance to set up their rotations.  And yet they were all set.  Even the Rockies.

Anyway, since we had four opportunities to compare aces, I thought I'd line them all up and see how they performed:

Name
IP
H
ER BB K
Josh Beckett
9
4
0
0
8
John Lackey
6
9
4
2
4
Chien-Ming Wang
4.2
9
8
4
2
C.C. Sabathia
5
4
3
6
5
Brandon Webb
7
4
1
3
9
Carlos Zambrano
6
4
1
1
8
Cole Hamels
6.2
3
3
4
7
Jeff Francis (WTFBBQ????)
6
4
2
2
8

Apart from the heinous (but not unsurprisingly so, to those of us in the know) performance of alleged Cy Young candidate Wang, this actually isn't a bad set of lines.  Those are some big K numbers.

Even Jeff Francis got in on the act.  Again and again the same question passes across my mind: WTFBBQ??!?!?1!?  I didn't see any of the game, so I can't say, but that's an awfully impressive line for the shakiest of the eight pitchers on that list.  Was it a case of Rollins/Victorino/Utley/Howard striking themselves out, or did Francis legitimately own them?

Even the guys who struggled (Hamels, Sabathia, Lackey) acquitted themselves nicely in terms of the stats.  Lackey in particular was surprisingly good... his effectiveness last night was about on a par with Wang tonight, but Lackey still kept the Angels close and got them through six full innings.  Refusing to fold was critical to the Angels' chances going forward, even with the extra rest.

In the same vein, that's a downright rotten line for Sabathia, but he pitched a hell of a game in spite of having such dreadful control.  Good for him to gut it out.  That is what an ace does.

Compare those two performances to that of 19-game winner Wang.  His incompetence forced Torre into using Ross Ohlendorf, which in turn put the game out of reach a few moments ago.  Wang just isn't gonna gut out games like that.  The Sox lit him up big-time last month at Fenway, and the Indians lit him up even worse tonight.  (But hey, Cy Young candidate, right?  19 winses!!!!)

5 Comments:

  • Francis' line is 90% due to chase and howard playing the game with their heads in their asses. 0-8, 7Ks.

    As for Wang, its been proven time and again that if his sinker ain't sinkin, he's sunk. He just doesn't have the variety in his arsenal to let him gut out games. I am disappointed that Torre didn't pull him much much earlier, in favor of IPK. Is IPK even on the roster?

    By Blogger Alex, at 8:51 AM  

  • That's a pretty good list to be the shakiest pitcher on. I thought Francis looked damn good, and I think he may have really made some strides this season, particularly in the second half.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 2:53 PM  

  • Oh, no... that "shakiest" statement wasn't so much about Francis as it was about the others. You've got seven of the best pitchers in baseball on display; Francis, good as he is, is not in that league. If you play "one of these things is not like the other things," your answer has got to be Francis. (Unless your criterion is "made it out of the 5th inning.") That's all I meant there. But I'll grant that the WTFBBQ angle was overstated a bit. It's not as if Josh Fogg pitched a bunch of scoreless innings or something. I mean, that'd just be horrible.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 3:07 PM  

  • Cool, though I might put Wang in the same boat as Francis, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Francis have the better career when all is said and done. Wang's solid and all, but...

    By Blogger Jesse, at 4:07 PM  

  • Neither would I. But for now I'd still give Wang an edge based on his track record, and the fact that any lefty is capable of one 17+ win season. (Cliff Lee on line 1...)

    That said, Wang sucks.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 7:16 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home