After several years of pretty lackluster action in the postseason this year’s edition is shaping up to be one of the best in memory.
And while there’s no ‘bloody sock’, no coming back from a 0-3 hole, there has been plenty of other great stuff to remind fans of why this game is so great and why we play the baseball lines in the first place.
And even with all the great hitting and great hitters featured in this year’s competition the biggest story of the ’10 playoffs has been the pitching.
That’s hardly a surprise for anyone that’s checked out the rosters in this year’s playoffs. Every team left in the ALCS and NLCS competition boasts a Cy Young winner and their pitching rotations are some of the best in the game. Some of the starting staffs have raised their game in the postseason while others have shrunk in the spotlight, but for the most part pitching –and especially individual pitchers- have made their mark on this postseason.
The obvious standout performance was Roy Halladay’s playoff debut for the Phillies in which he pitched just the second no-hitter in playoff history and nearly had a perfect game (2 BB).
That followed the next day in the NLDS round of play by a 2-hit 14 K masterpiece by the 2-time reigning NL Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum who has been outstanding. Lincecum followed that up with a 7.0 inning win against Halladay in which he gave up 3 runs and struck out 8 in Game 1 of the NLCS.
But the ‘other Roy’ in the Phillies rotation proved he’ll take a back seat to no one as he threw a complete game gem to defeat the Giants in Game 2.
In the AL the pitching action has been nearly as impressive, if not more so, in the case of the Texas Rangers’ Cliff Lee. Lee doesn’t have a no-hitter –yet- in the 2010 playoffs action but no one has been better in the postseason this year in either league than Lee.
In three starts Lee is a perfect 3-0 with a .75 ERA. He’s logged 24.0 innings recorded 34 Ks, given up just 13 hits and only 2 ER all while walking just 1 batter.
If you like the baseball odds action there is no way that you haven’t been impressed by the pitching in the playoffs this year.