baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Why I Love Baseball

Tuesday night, the NY locals had the following pitching matchups:

NY Yankees
Chien Ming Wang (26, in his 32nd Major League game, lifetime ERA 4.23)
Boston Red Sox
David Pauley (22 years old, in his second Major League game, after getting shelled in 1st start)

New York Mets
Pedro Martinez (34 years old, in his 431 Major League game, including 203 games with Boston, lifetime ERA 2.73, one of the best pitchers of all-time)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Derek Lowe (33 years old, 444 games, including 384 for Boston, lifetime ERA 3.77)

The two starters in the NL game combined to pitch in 587 games for the Red Sox, mostly at a very high level of skill and success. The two starters in the AL game are young and inexperienced, and have yet to demonstrate long-term success at the major league level.

Here was a case where everyone probably expected a high-scoring game between the BoSox and Yankees, and a pitchers' duel in the Mets-Dodgers game. The final scores were:



To add to the mystery and beauty of baseball, last night, Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez pitched a complete-game 3-hitter, allowing just 1 run. It was only his 9th complete game in the Majors Leagues, and first since 2000. He has been pitching inconsistently all season, and his ERA before the game was 6.19 for the Mets and Diamondbacks.

Another example of the unpredictability of the game is how well the Yankees have handled their extreme run of injuries and illnesses. The young guys and bench players have stepped up in incredible fashion, and the team is probably playing better than before Matsui, Sheffield, and just about every other starting position player got hurt.

I have a feeling that the news about Sheffield's surgery might get in their heads, and lead to an extended slump. Players can often rise to the occasion for a limited time when a star gets hurt, but after a while talent finds its proper level. Melky Cabrera has been a revelation so far, but there is no way Bernie Williams and Bubba Crosby can replace the menace of Sheffield's bat.

Although I have been wrong about Mussina so far, I still expect a slump from him. He himself doesn't believe he can pitch well all year, according to recent quotes. He will psych himself out any day now. They better hope that Wang gets more consistent, and that Randy Johnson finds his glare.

© Judy Kamilhor 2006


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