Monday, July 26, 2010

The Arms Have It, or Pitchers versus Hitters

I've seen people calling 2010 The Year of the Pitcher. Mainly because some of the top players this year (Roy Halladay, Phil Hughes, Justin Verlander, David Price) are pitcher, and there have been quite a few no hitters this year.

I bring this up because tonight, in Tampa, Matt Garza just pitched 2010's 5th No Hitter. All of Detroit's batters tried very hard to get a hit, but came up short every time.

And this is the FIFTH time this has happened this year. There were two Perfect Games this year...twice in the same MONTH, for Heaven's sake. With Perfect Games, you're lucky if you get one once a year! And three no-hitters to go along with it. The pitchers are really bringing their A-Game this year.

We all remember that 1998 was the year of the Great Home Run Chase, where two steroid addled division rivals (but probable friends), fought day and night for Roger Maris' Seasonal Dinger Title (Matter of fact, Billy Crystal's 61* was on HBO). And McGwire broke 61. And Sosa broke 61. And McGwire held the record, and then, 3 years later, Bonds broke the record again. There have been numerous power seasons by batters (Matt Williams in 94, for example).

So why are we all so shocked that the season is being dominated by pitchers instead of batters?

Batters are why we go to games. Just to see A-Rod hit another home run, or to see Jeter try and break 3000. A-Rod is still at 599, because of why? Because Jake Westbrook, a decent enough pitcher, held him off.

We go to baseball games to see people smack the ball out of the park. This is why the "Year of the Pitcher" is so shocking to us baseball fans. We always want to see the batter winning over the pitcher.

Casey Stengel once said "Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice versa"

Thanks to the Year of the Pitcher, the last part of that quote is becoming endangered.

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