Thursday, April 30, 2009

Upcoming: Carl Pavano

I know this will sound really whiny, but doesn't it seem like a "struggling" pitcher comes in and shuts us down all too often?  Enter Carl Pavano, 0-3. 9.50 ERA,  over 4 starts and 18 innings pitched.  Opponents are batting a robust .363 against Pavano.  He's only walked 5, but has given up 29, count 'em, 29 hits in his four outings this young season, resulting in a 1.89 WHIP.  He's got 16 strikeouts, eight of them coming in a six-inning start against Kansas City on April 14.  Now, his ERA is a little inflated as he only lasted one inning in his first start of the year and gave up 9 earned runs in that teeny little inning.  His other starts are as follows:

4/14, KC, 6 innings, 8 hits, 4 ER, 8 SO, 0 BB
4/19, NYY, 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 ER, 4 SO, 1 BB
4/24 MN, 5 innings, 11 hits, 5 ER, 3 SO, 1 BB

Is he gonna storm into Detroit and blow away our lineup?  I hope not, but I won't exactly be stunned if he does.

You know what?   My view of baseball is all too myopic.  I don't have time (scratch that, I don't take the time) to keep up on every MLB team.  I don't want to sound like I'm any busier than the next guy--we all make time for what we want to do.  Me, I'm focused in tunnel-vision style on the Tigers for the most part.  Surely this type of thing happens to all teams from time to time.  Maybe one of the "real" bloggers will dig into the stats and let us know whether the Tigers are more susceptible than other clubs.  I think part of it is that good ol' Rod and Mario may over-emphasize when a pitcher is struggling, and then express surprise when that guy pulls it together against the Tigers.  It's too early in this season, but many pitchers experience peaks and valleys over 162 games.  You can't just assume that a pitcher is going to continue to struggle based on the last couple starts alone.  

It's nice when a pitcher is consistent over the course of a season.  Take Armando Gallaraga, for instance, who happens to be tomorrow's starter.  He generally goes pretty deep in a game, and gives the club a chance to win.  Last year, he averaged 6.26 innings over 28 starts (Baseball Reference).  Long relief.  Um, while it is oh so gratifying to see various Tigers get playing time, rather than rotting on the bench, I'll take a quality start when given the choice.  We fans inexplicably like to give our fingernails a chance to be something more than nubs.

So Gallaraga, keep on rolling, or at least gut it out like you're so good at doing if you don't have your best stuff.  Carl Pavano???  Well, let's just say you're not a Tiger, so...

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