Saturday, July 18, 2009

A few surprises on this list of top pitchers

2009 Season: Sub-3.00 ERA, 100 Strikeouts
Dan Haren - Diamondbacks (2.01, 129)
Zack Greinke - Royals (2.12, 129)
Tim Lincecum - Giants (2.27 159)
Felix Hernandez - Mariners (2.51, 129)
Josh Johnson - Marlins (2.74, 109)
Wandy Rodriguez - Astros (2.81, 112)
Roy Halladay - Blue Jays (2.85, 106)
Javier Vasquez - Braves (2.95, 136)

A few surprises here. If you heard there was a list of 8 pitchers in all of baseball with these numbers, I doubt most people would think of Wandy Rodriguez or Javier Vazquez immediately. Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay were the All-Star Game Starting Pitchers. Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez, Josh Johnson and Dan Haren were All-Star Reserves. Wandy Rodriguez and Javier Vasquez were left off of the teams entirely and there wasn't much of a public uproar over it.

Some of that is probably a product of the every-team-must-have-a-player requirement, which got Zach Duke of the Pirates (8-8, 3.29, 65 SO) onto the team as their only selection. Ted Lilly, who is on the Cubs and was an All-Star Reserve, has had a very similar season to Wandy Rodriguez, only with a higher ERA (9-6, 3.18, 101 SO). The win-loss records are often used to determine who the best pitchers are too. Take a look at their Win-Loss records:

Tim Lincecum (10-2)
Roy Halladay (10-3)
Felix Hernandez (10-3)
Zack Greinke (10-5)
Dan Haren (9-5)
Wandy Rodriguez (9-6)
Josh Johnson (8-2)
Javier Vasquez (6-7)

Vasquez has been a bit of a tough-luck pitcher: His ERA in June was 1.98 and his record 1-3. He lost a game against Tim Wakefield and Boston where he allowed 1 run over 7 innings, because the Braves lost 1-0. Haren might be having the best season of any of them, but his record is not that great, although Arizona is one of the worst teams in baseball.

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