Good pitching beats…

November 2, 2010

Even great hitting, and even when it’s coupled with its own good pitching.  That’s a slight revision of the old cliché, but I think it is accurate.  The Rangers led MLB in hitting during the season and pounded the Rays and Yankees, the teams with the two best records in baseball. They also had a solid pitching staff with an ace of historic proportions.  All that fell by the wayside when faced with GREAT pitching.  Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner were GREAT, EXCEPTIONAL, UNBEATABLE.  Dare I say a FREAKY GOOD?  Perhaps this was the only way that the Year of the Pitcher could end.

On top of that, the Giants were clearly a team of destiny.  How else could you explain 5 post-season HR’s from Cody Ross, 3 from Edgar Renteria, who had only two all season, and NO 3 RBI games? (Of course, just having Edgar on your WS roster makes you a team of destiny).  Renteria’s HR last night also overshadowed the historic SAC BUNT of Aubrey Huff – his first in over 5000 MLB plate appearances, and a perfect one. FREAKY.

So, where does that leave us pundits?  No one saw this coming, although Pete H. and I could have followed our play-off hunches a little farther.  The title of Chief Expert this year will likely be decided by the individual awards, but even those predictions are looking pretty weak.   As a reminder, here are the current point totals. Mathematically, no one has been eliminated.  Marc could even make the leap from last to first.

Rocky W. – 10 pts:

Pete H. –   10 pts:

Tom M. – 8 pts:

Steve J.  8 pts:

Jed M.  – 7 pts:

Eric H.  – 7 pts:

Tony L.  – 7 pts:

Scott R. – 6 pts:

Marc W.  – 5 pts:

No one picked either batting champ (Hamilton, AL; Gonzalez, NL – that’s Carlos Gonzalez in case you have to go back to your media guide. I’d never heard of him!)

Most of our MVP picks were predictable, and Pujols may prove a winner for Rocky, Jed and Pete in the NL. However, my money is on Joey Votto as the fresh new face.  Of course no one picked him.  (I still think I should get bonus points since my sleeper pick, Brian McCann, at least won the All-Star game MVP. Maybe I will claim that as the tie-breaker for last place, which is where I’m likely to finish).

AL MVP will be interesting, and I at least have a shot there with my pick of Evan Longoria (Steve, also).  Eric H.’s pick of Robinson Cano may also be a winner.

I’m guessing that Rocky, Pete  and Tom (Halliday) will score with the NL Cy Young, although Steve (Carpenter) and Marc (Wainwright) have a shot. I don’t see The Freak adding a third straight Cy Young award to his WS championship ring.  Also, Senor Jimenez forgot that there are two halves to the season (Sorry, Tony).

Eric  has the best shot at the AL Cy Young (Sabbathia).  Steve has an outside shot (Lester), but I’m guessing it goes to David Price, whom no one picked.

We will know all by the end of this month and then we can start preparing for next year.  We need to start working earlier since our scores are well below last year’s.  The only explanation I can think of is that we must have all abandoned our PED’s with the tough, new drug testing rules.  Gotta find some new inspiration.