Posted at 3:19 PM on October 2, 2007
by Bob Collins
I've been asked to lend my baseball experience to Bleacher Bums during the playoffs. I haven't been interested in the playoffs for a number of years, but now that the Cleveland Indians are back in the playoffs, so am I.
This is the time of the year when we hear the cliche, "good pitching beats good hitting." If so, the Yankees-Indians series is over. If only I could recite the mantra often enough to finally believe it.
The Yankees bullpen is a mess, thanks to a series a few weeks ago against the Toronto Blue Jays, from which the bullpen never recovered. The Indians finished 3rd in the A.L. in pitching. The Yankees finished 17th overall and 8th in the A.L. We've got Sabathia and Carmona, the Yankees have Wang and whoever shows up. I try to block out that I'm playing the part of Minnesota Twins fans in seasons past. Their team had better pitching too. Their team went home in a hurry.
By the way, the Sporting News just declared the Yankees will win the World Series because of their bullpen. The Sporting News management has obviously not bought out enough of its writers.
Of the top 10 teams in pitching this year, only Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Arizona made the playoffs The best pitching in baseball this year belonged to the San Diego Padres. Unable to hold an extra inning lead, the Padres are making tee times today. The Mets (12) had better pitching than the Phillies (23).
I have a nagging feeling, fertilized by 45 years of being a Cleveland Indian fan, that good pitching beats good hitting.
Except when it doesn't.
(Photo credit: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)