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Archive for October 17th, 2010

For the most part, the “Year of the Pitcher” has carried over to October. Only two games into the post season, Roy Halladay had thrown a no hitter and Tim Lincecum shut down the Braves with a 14 strikeout, two-hit performance. Based on game score, both efforts ranked among the five best October pitching performances ever, but the dominance did not stop there.

Starters with Game Score of 70 or Higher, 2010 Postseason

Player Date Series G# Tm Opp Rslt GSc
Tim Lincecum 10/7/10 NLDS 1 SFG ATL W 1-0 96
Roy Halladay 10/6/10 NLDS 1 PHI CIN W 4-0 94
Cole Hamels 10/10/10 NLDS 3 PHI CIN W 2-0 86
Cliff Lee 10/12/10 ALDS 5 TEX TBR W 5-1 82
Jonathan Sanchez 10/10/10 NLDS 3 SFG ATL W 3-2 80
Phil Hughes 10/9/10 ALDS 3 NYY MIN W 6-1 74
C.J. Wilson 10/7/10 ALDS 2 TEX TBR W 6-0 74
Cliff Lee 10/6/10 ALDS 1 TEX TBR W 5-1 73

Source: Baseball-reference.com

Although as many as 18 games remain in the 2010 post season, there have already been eight pitching performances with a game score above 70. How significant is that? Since the advent of divisional play in 1995, 2010 already ranks in the middle of the pack, and on a percentage basis is third. With the likes of Halladay, Lincecum, C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels still active, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this postseason surpass all others.

Starts with a Game Score of 70 or Higher, Since 1995

Year GScore of 70+ Total Starts Pct
2001 17 70 24.3%
1998 14 60 23.3%
2010 8 36 22.2%
2009 12 60 20.0%
1995 12 62 19.4%
1997 13 68 19.1%
2003 12 76 15.8%
1996 10 64 15.6%
1999 9 62 14.5%
2006 8 60 13.3%
2000 7 62 11.3%
2005 6 60 10.0%
2008 5 64 7.8%
2004 5 68 7.4%
2007 4 56 7.1%
2002 4 68 5.9%

Source: Baseball-reference.com

Unfortunately for the Yankees, while they have enjoyed a couple of good starts, they have also had more than their fair share of stinkers. In fact, just one week after tossing one of the best games in Yankees’ ALDS history, Phil Hughes followed up with the one of the worst starts in the team’s long October legacy. Hughes shouldn’t feel too bad, however, because on that list several times is Andy Pettitte, the same man who has the most wins in postseason history. Also making an appearance are David Cone and David Wells, two hurlers who were widely regarded as big game pitchers during their career. What’s more, C.C. Sabathia’s game score of 29 in the ALCS opener wasn’t much better than Hughes’ lackluster effort in game two, so the young righty at least has some good company in his struggles.

Yankees’ All Time Worst Postseason Starts, by Game Score

Player Date Series G# Opp Rslt IP H ER SO GSc
C.Ming Wang 10/4/07 ALDS 1 CLE L 3-12 4.2 9 8 2 12
David Wells 10/5/02 ALDS 4 ANA L 5-9 4.2 10 8 0 12
Phil Hughes 10/16/10 ALCS 2 TEX L 2-7 4 10 7 3 14
Andy Pettitte 11/3/01 WS 6 ARI L 2-15 2 7 6 1 17
Andy Pettitte 10/20/96 WS 1 ATL L 1-12 2.1 6 7 1 17
Andy Pettitte 10/26/99 WS 3 ATL W 6-5 3.2 10 5 1 21
Hank Borowy 10/4/42 WS 4 STL L 6-9 3 6 6 1 21
A.J. Burnett 11/2/09 WS 5 PHI L 6-8 2 4 6 2 22
David Cone 9/30/97 ALDS 1 CLE W 8-6 3.1 7 6 2 22
Andy Pettitte 10/9/98 ALCS 3 CLE L 1-6 4.2 8 6 1 22

Source: Baseball-reference.com

Not only was Hughes’ poor performance in game two historic on a team level, it also tied Fausto Carmon and Jim Perry for the lowest game score in ALCS history. Thankfully for Hughes, his effort just missed cracking the bottom-10 among all postseason starts. The dubious distinction for ranking atop that list belongs to Todd Stottlemyre, who was absolutely manhandled by the Braves in game 5 of the 1996 NLCS. Perhaps buoyed by their outburst against Stottlemyre, the Braves outscored the Cardinals 32-1 over the final three games of that series to repeat as National League champions.

All Time Worst Postseason Starts, by Game Score

Player Date Series G# Tm Opp Rslt GSc
Todd Stottlemyre 10/14/1996 NLCS 5 STL ATL L 0-14 8
Russ Ortiz 10/20/2002 WS 2 SFG ANA L 10-11 9
Pete Alexander 10/5/1928 WS 2 STL NYY L 3-9 10
Mordecai Brown 10/14/1906 WS 6 CHC CHW L 3-8 10
Woody Williams 10/23/2004 WS 1 STL BOS L 9-11 11
Tom Glavine 10/13/1992 NLCS 6 ATL PIT L 4-13 11
Chien-Ming Wang 10/4/2007 ALDS 1 NYY CLE L 3-12 12
Tom Glavine 10/6/2002 NLDS 4 ATL SFG L 3-8 12
Tommy Greene 10/20/1993 WS 4 PHI TOR L 14-15 12
Brad Penny 10/8/2003 NLCS 2 FLA CHC L 3-12 12

Source: Baseball-reference.com

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