One year after one of the most dominant pitching seasons in memory, the league again saw a great year for pitchers. That is until the postseason. Last year saw no-hitter after no-hitter, perfect games and near perfect games, and it was all capped off by Roy Halladay’s Division Series no-hitter. This postseason, though, has been lacking any hint of dominant pitching.
We can’t know how good game one of the Yankees/Tigers series could have been. C.C. Sabathia and Justin Verlander sounds like a pitchers duel on paper. But the game was suspended after just one inning, thus ending Sabathia and Verlander’s performances until Tuesday. Yet, even in this suspended game, both pitchers had given up a run in the first inning.
Each of the four play-off series have played their first two games. None have gone extra innings. Therefore, 72 innings have been pitched in the postseason so far. 98 runs have been scored. In an environment where pitchers seem to be excelling far more often than hitters, the opposite seems true on the game’s biggest stage. The combined ERA of pitchers this postseason is 12.25.
Sure, the sample size is relatively small, but the number of runs we’ve seen is surprising. The reason is pretty simple though. Superstar hitters are acting like superstars. Below is the list of star performances thus far:
Evan Longoria: 3/9, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Josh Hamilton: 3/7, BB
Miguel Cabrera: 3/7 3 RBI, 2 Runs
Jorge Posada: 3/7, 2 Runs
Ryan Braun: 6/10, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 Runs
Prince Fielder: 3/8, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 Runs
Justin Upton: 2/9, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs
Albert Pujols: 3/8, 1 RBI, 1 Run
Lance Berkman: 2/8, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 Runs
Ryan Howard: 2/7, 6 RBI, 1 Run
In the first two games of these series, the above hitters combined to go 30/80, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 15 Runs. These numbers are a far cry from what you would expect after the regular season. There’s been one shut out in this postseason, but it will be interesting if these offenses can keep it up. One thing is for sure though, the league’s biggest offensive stars have shined brightest this postseason.