Thursday, February 24, 2011

Is the Phillies Pitching Really That Much Better?

Every time I turn to watch or read something about baseball, the new look Phillies pitching staff is all over the screen. I think to myself, hmm, did the Giants not beat the same Phillies staff a year ago? (Minus Cliff Lee, who they also beat twice in the world series).

There is no doubt that they're a very good staff and if they were all wearing the Orange and Black, I would be a very happy guy. But, really, are they any better then the Giants pitchers? If you look at both rotations one through five, I think that you have to say they're pretty even.

In no particular order:

1. Roy Halladay vs Tim Lincecum:

In the playoffs last season, they split the series, but they both pitched very well. Both of these pitchers are elite guys and they have won the last three N.L. Cy Young awards.

2. Cliff Lee vs Matt Cain:

Both of theses guys are very good as well. Matt Cain, the younger of the two, has emerged from the shadow of his low run support days and is among the better pitchers in the game (even if he causes debate about luck vs skill on HR prevention). Cliff Lee is a very solid pitcher during the regular season and seems to find another level in the postseason and is the darling of the sabermetric crowd.

3. Roy Oswalt vs Madison Bumgarner:

Mad Bum really came out of his shell and pitched like a seasoned veteran in Game 4 of the Fall Classic and I cannot wait to see the rest of his days with the Giants. On the other side, Roy Oswalt is no pushover, a veteran who can still deal with the best in the majors.

4. Cole Hamels vs Johnathan Sanchez:

These two lefties have similar type styles; here is some junk, try and hit it. Hamels is a bit more consistent, but both of them, on any other team, could be a two or a very solid three.

5. Joe Blanton vs Barry Zito:

Both of these guys pitched in Oakland and now pitch in the National League. I have not given up on Barry Zito and Joe Blanton might be moving from Philly to another team soon. Both of these guys are very solid 5th starters.

Scott wrote earlier looking at the projected similarities in the two teams and also about the idea that the Phillies, as a team, are head and shoulders better than the Giants. I am a little more (or little less) optimistic than him on this case.

If you're on Twitter, you should definitely follow The Crazy Crabbers. If you're not, you should really consider joining; lots of good stuff going on there.

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