Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pitching Matchups

I'm not sure you can draw up pitching matchups better than what is falling into place for the Yankee-Red Sox series at Fenway.

Game 1: Big off-season acquisitions: Andy Pettitte vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka
Both pitchers are 2-1 against the opponent this year. Matsuzaka has struggled to that record against the Yankees with a 6.98 ERA. This, amazingly, will be Pettitte's 7th game (6th start) against the Red Sox this year. He pitched very well in four of the six games, and didn't get out of the 5th inning in the other two. Pettitte has 13 wins on the year (9 after the all-star break), Matsuzaka has 14 (ten before the all-star break).

Game 2: Wins Leader: Chien-Ming Wang vs. Josh Beckett
I'm not sure there could be a better pitching matchup in all of baseball right now, given their identical 18-6 records, the rivalry, and the situation. One of the most impressive parts about these two and having the most wins in baseball, is that they are tied in 62nd place with just 27 starts each. Beckett has 181.2 IP, Wang 180.2. If one of them walks out of the game with a win, they will be in sole possesion of the ML lead in wins for the season.

Game 3: Old-Timers Day: Roger Clemens vs. Curt Schilling
No starters under 40 allowed for the regular season finale between these two teams. Clemens is 6-6 on the season, Schilling 8-7. Huge name guys who have pitched tons of big games, huge stage, perfect matchup.

It's very rare to look at the pitching matchups for a 3-game series, and to not have either team with a distinctive advantage in any of the matchups.


Ross said...

Beckett and Wang's next scheduled start after they face each other doesn't get much easier with Beckett facing Kazmir and Wang facing Halladay.

Sully said...

I disagree about match-up advantages. Beckett-Wang is a push, no doubt (I'd even go so far to say that the winner, assuming it's a low-scoring game, will probably win the Cy Young - it's amazing how similar their lines are). But given Matsuzaka's recent struggles and Clemens' elbow issues, I'd give the edge to Pettitte in game one and Schilling in game three. But not by much - Pettitte is hit-or-miss against the Red Sox, as you mentioned, and Schilling has had trouble with the Yankees this year.