Pitching Wins in the MLB
- Updated: May 16, 2008
In my opinion, pitching is probably the most important aspect of the game of baseball.
This fact is highlighted by the dominance of Josh Beckett in the playoff both as a Marlin and as a member of the Red Sox. The same holds true for Curt Schilling, too. When the Angels won the World Series, K-Rod was the best set up man in the post season and a big reason why they won. Also, look at last year’s NL West Division Champs, the Arizona Diamondbacks. They scored fewer runs than they let up and still won their division.
But on the flip side, a prime example of having the most powerful line up money can buy doesn’t always equate to winning.
For proof, at least thus far, just look at the 2008 Detroit Tigers! Although, I would still bet that they will make a serious run for their division but I don not give them much hope going past that. Verlander is having an off year so far and Bonderman usually looses something towards the end of the year. Plus, their bullpen is just not strong enough. The Yankees are another good example, relying too much on their youth and are possibly rushing both Kennedy and Hughes. But, in the playoffs (if they make it) you can get away with a three or four man rotation, but is their bullpen good enough? That is the big question. For years, the Red Sox fell into that same trap. Always having a solid hitting team, but having either a bad bullpen or not enough strength in the rotation to sustain them through a grueling 162-game season plus the playoffs. It wasn’t until the current ownership had the idea of building the team around pitching and defense (good defense bolsters good pitching) and acquired Schilling to compliment Pedro Martinez (now with the Mets), Tim Wakefield and Derek Lowe (now with the Dodgers). They also brought in SS Orlando Cabrera, speedy OF Dave Roberts 3B Bill Mueller & 1B Doug Mientkiewicz for defensive purposes and bench depth (Roberts). Roberts’ late inning speed off the bench didn’t hurt either; just ask Mariano Rivera and the Yankees.
Sorry for getting a little off track, but I hope you get the point. To me, until team like the Yankees, Tigers and Phillies get back to focusing on pitching strength rather than hording a collection of great hitters, I just don’t see them winning a World Series.