Home > Uncategorized > What’s Wrong With “Can’t-Miss” Pitching Matchups?

What’s Wrong With “Can’t-Miss” Pitching Matchups?

We had one on Tuesday night between Josh Johnson and Roy Halladay that was a bit disappointing in the sense that one of them didn’t throw a no-hitter or K 28 batters in a 27-out game. But the 2-1 affair, with the Marlins scoring the winning (unearned) run off of Halladay in the eighth, was nonetheless enjoyable.

And what’s so wrong with that?

Including Tuesday’s results, there have now been 73 shutouts this season, which is inordinately high. MLB’s .249 batting average heading into to Tuesday’s games was the league’s lowest since 1972.

But what’s so wrong with that?

I heard some discussion on ESPN earlier today about all of this, blown up to the effect that maybe baseball should do something about this offensive offense. After 1972, the American League adopted the designated hitter, and the league-wide batting average went up 13 points. And you know chicks dig the long ball. People want to resurrect that time.

So I have a plan for what baseball can do to fix this malady: NOTHING.

This season has been just as easy on the eyes as those from 10-15 years ago when everyone was blowing up like the Michelin Man and launching baseballs 450 feet. Don’t punish talent. In my opinion, there are at least 70 different combinations of starting pitcher matchups I would label right now as “can’t miss.” And that’s only in the National League!

That NL personal list includes Johnson, Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, Tommy Hanson, Chris Carpenter, Zack Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Clayton Kershaw and Ubaldo Jimenez. Put any pairing of those guys together and MLB has got itself a viewer.

That is without the injured Adam Wainwright, Johan Santana and Stephen Strasburg. And while you may question my inclusion of Gallardo or Oswalt, feel free to add names such as Jonathan Sanchez, Mat Latos, Wandy Rodriguez or whomever else. Like I said, it’s my own list.

The public doesn’t seem too bothered by this pitcher’s era either. Attendance from last year is down by just 640 people per game, which is pretty impressive when you consider the awful weather this country has experienced over the past six weeks. Total attendance has been around 73 million for the past two seasons. This season should at least meet that number.

The league’s enhanced drug policy, increased testing and harsher penalties for violators has assisted in curbing high scores. But I hope MLB and its more casual fans understand that there are a lot of good pitchers in the sport right now and if you haven’t noticed, they are also a lot of fun to watch.

Deal with it.

With the cyclical nature of baseball, hitters will see their dawn of a new day soon enough.

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