Thursday, October 28, 2010
Are Game 2 starters closer than they look?
Dave Cameron on our Game 2 starters:
In some ways, C.J. Wilson and Matt Cain are polar opposites. Wilson’s a lefty, while Cain throws with his right hand. Cain throws a ton of fastballs, while Wilson has basically abandoned his this year. Wilson is a guy who gets a lot of grounders, while Cain is one of the most prolific flyball pitchers in the game.
Both of these guys kept runs off the board by getting people to hit the ball at their defenders and by keeping their fly balls in the yard. As any regular FanGraphs reader can tell you, these are not things that are usually considered repeatable skills, as history has shown that most pitchers simply can’t sustain the kinds of performances that these guys put up this year.
The differences will be obvious. The similarities will be a bit more subtle. But, in the end, it should be a good match-up and a fun game to watch.
The similarities will be more than subtle; they'll be unrecognizable unless both pitchers give up two or three fly balls that die on the warning track.
This is one of those times when statistics really don't do us any good. Has Matt Cain discovered the secret to thriving despite underlying statistics that say he shouldn't? Perhaps. Can C.J. continue, next season and beyond, to give up so few home runs? Perhaps.
But either way, none of that's going to show up tonight. Tonight, it'll just be a couple of talented young men trying to make good pitches, and a bunch of talented young (and middle-aged) men trying to hit them. As Cameron says, it should be fun.