2010 MLB Playoffs Preview: Top Four Pitching Rotations
It's almost that time of year again, can you feel it?
Important Notes: The stats were last updated on September 20, 2010. Sorry about that picture getting cut off.
Keep in mind, this will be in an order of the teams I think that made the cut.
Each week or two I will evaluate the top four things (two from the AL and two from the NL) coming into October ball. This week I'll be talking about the top-four teams with the top 1-2-3 punch that will give them the best chance to win the World Series.
I also may include, from time to time, two guys who just didn't make the cut, but this will only be one starter from each league.
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"Pitching wins you games."
Juuuust a Bit Outside: Jonathan Sanchez (SF Giants)
Sanchez hugging catcher, Whiteside and celebrating his no-hitter on July 10, 2009. (Vs SDP)
Sanchez is a great pitcher having a great year, don't get me wrong (11-8, 3.21, 188 to 85 BBs), but he just doesn't quite get the edge.
You have to give him the benefit of the doubt, though, as he is on a team with some of the best starters in the game.
When you are on a team with a two-time Cy Young award-winning pitcher, Tim Lincecum, the Zito we saw in Oakland, and a great No. 3 pitcher in Matt Cain, it is hard to make that last cut for the top-three starters for your team entering the postseason.
But who knows—he can finish strong and Cain can die out. That's why we love September ball.
Right Off of The Black: Javier Vazquez (NY Yankees)
Javier Vazquez pitching against the Texas Rangers (September 10th) as the Yankees lost a heart breaker 6-5 (11 innings).
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Don't feel bad about going into the bullpen, because you will be accompanied with fellow starter Phil Hughes. And who knows—the Yanks tried this experiment with you earlier in the season and it gave them mixed results.
With Andy Pettitte's age and Brunett's health, you and Hughes can be back in the rotation in no time.
1. Philadelphia Phillies: Miami's Competer For The Real Big Three
The two Roy's plus Clutch Cole combined is one strong playoff rotation. If Hamel's does not perform they have a great backup plan in Joe Blantan.
Each sport has their big three that they are most proud of, but Philly's big three of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels is bigger and stronger then guys such as Jets cornerbacks Darell Reivs, Kyle Wilson, and Antonio Cromartie.
These three pitchers combined this season are 43-33. Those might not be the most perfect numbers, but they have an offense that will give them a ton of run support, and if it comes down to it, one of them has had some experience in RF...remember that, Oswalt?
Surprisingly, the most experienced in the playoffs out of these three is their Achilles heel, Hamels, who won the Word Series MVP back in 2008 when the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the one of the most boring series of all time.
2. Texas Rangers: Everything Is Bigger (and Better) In Texas
Aquired at the trade-deadline Lee is known for his clutch performances in October/November ball so don't take his recent slumps out of proportion.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
They have the offense, so all Rich Harden, Cliff Lee, and C.J. Wilson must do is make sure they are healthy come playoff time.
Current GM Nolan Ryan wanted to center this team around pitching, and many criticized his idea, but the Rangers have proven that they can beat anybody with their starting pitching, hitting, fielding, and bullpen work.
Harden, Lee, and Wilson are a combined 31-20, but injuries have limited these great pitchers throughout their years at work. But trust me—they are the best 1-2-3 bunch in the American League entering the race for the AL pennant.
San Francisco Giants: The Biggest Thing In The Bay Area Since Bonds' Ass
With Zito finally finding his true self and Lincecum getting rid of his current hiccup, Matt Cain is the key to this rotation's success.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Now that Giants GM Brian Sabean has built a good offense to help support this great pitching, San Francisco has no excuse for not going deep into the playoffs.
However, the lack of experience for these three pitchers might be a roadblock on the way to success.
Whoever they end up playing, it will be a tight series. But the offense has to stay consistent if they want to advance to the NLCS or further. Their record is a combined 35-33.
New York Yankees: The Money Men
The first pitcher to win 20 games hopefully that will carry over into the ALDS.
J. Meric/Getty Images
The richest hurlers in New York try to defend their title as World Series champions.
All that has to be said is 41-21.
Yet, I have them last, because of the health of Pettitte, Teixeira, and Swisher is a huge factor in the Yankees' success. Don't overlook them at No. 4, because they still made this list.
Thanks for reading, and please read some of my other articles. Next up is the top four 3-4-5 hitters. Stay tuned, as I don't know when it will be posted.
Please comment and give me some positive and negative feedback!
David S. Allerhand
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