Tuesday, November 2, 2010

...the 2010 World Series

Once again, the old saying that good pitching will beat good hitting held up as the San Francisco Giants won the 2010 World Series, beating the Texas Rangers four games to one.

The quality of the Giants' pitching hasn't been discussed because of their anonymity. Other than Tim Lincecum - and Barry Zito, who didn't make the Giants' World Series roster - the Giants' pitchers are a bunch of unknowns. Matt Cain has won a combined 27 games in the last two seasons, Jonathan Sanchez won 13 games this year and Brian Wilson led the National League in saves in 2010 and has 127 saves over the last three seasons. And among those three and Lincecum, the oldest is Wilson, who is 28. And add to those four, 21 year-old Madison Bumgarner, who I wrote about a couple of days ago after he threw eight shutout innings in game four.

The Giants' should be set up for the long run as far as their pitching is concerned.

After the Rangers scored 38 runs and had a batting average of .304 against the Yankees, that seemed to be the topic of conversation. But if you look at some of the Giants' postseason and regular season numbers, it is easy to see why they won.

In the postseason, the Giants had a 2.47 ERA. The only walked 43 guys while striking out 133. And opponents batted .196 off of them. In the regular season, they had a team ERA of 3.36. They combined to throw 17 shutouts and opponents hit .236 against them. 

In the postseason, a team's roster gets shorter, meaning teams tend to not use the tenth or eleventh guy in their bullpen. During the regular season, a team may use 12 pitchers on a regular basis - five starters and seven guys in the bullpen. But in the postseason, they tend to use 9 pitchers - four starters and five guys out of the pen. For this reason, an improvement in the Giants' statistics is reasonable.

The Rangers led the Majors in hitting as a team with a .276 average. They hit .253 against Tampa in the Divisional Series and the aforementioned .304 against the Yankees in the League Championship Series. And while a team average of .190 in the World Series is surprising, it isn't unbelievable.

And while it won't hold up all the time, the 2010 World Series shows another example of good pitching beating good hitting. And great pitching will dominate.


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