Blog Entry

Another postseason pitching gem

Posted on: October 19, 2010 12:31 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:21 am
Cliff Lee The year of the pitcher has naturally turned into the postseason of the pitcher -- and now you can add Cliff Lee's ALCS Game 3 gem to this year's postseason pitching performances to remember.

As a whole, Lee's outperformed Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum to this point, and his outing at Yankee Stadium may have been as good as their Game 1 NLDS performances.

There were plenty of words written about Bill James' game score stat after Lincecum's two-hit performance against the Braves outscored Halladay's no-hitter against the Reds. Lee didn't match either in game score, but he could have had the Rangers' offense not exploded for six runs in the ninth.

Lee finished the game with a game score of 90 -- assuming he finished the ninth unscathed, he would have surpassed Halladay's game score of 94 (one point for every out, two more for an inning after the fourth). With one strikeout, he would have tied Lincecum's 96. The way he was pitching and the way the Yankees looked at the plate, that doesn't seem like much of a stretch.

What may have set Lee's outing apart was the team he did it against -- the Yankees. New York's 859 runs were the most in the majors, its .786 OPS was the second-best in the majors and wOBA (weighted on-base average) of .347 was the best in the majors.

The Reds were fourth in runs (790), third in OPS (.774),  wOBA (.339), so they were too far off the Yankees, except that they played in the weaker National League.

I'm not sure I buy Linecum's outing or Lee's outing being superior to Halladay's no-hitter, all three were amazing to watch and starts that should be celebrated and will certainly be remembered. It's like judging a piece of art -- does it matter which painting is better? Just appreciate them all on their own merits and be glad you got to see them.

Here's a look at the three phenomenal starts and three phenomenal starters:

Halladay vs. Reds: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 8 Ks, 1 BB, 28 BF. 104 pitches, 79 strikes. Game score: 94
Halladay's 2010 postseason: 1-1, 2.25 ERA, 16 IP, 15 Ks, 1 BB, 8 H, 4 ER

Lincecum vs. Braves: 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 14 Ks, 1 BB, 30 BF. 119 pitches, 75 strikes. Game score: 96
Lincecum's 2010 postseason: 2-0, 1.69 ERA, 16 IP, 22 Ks, 4 BB, 8 H, 3 ER

Lee vs. Yankees: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 13 Ks, 1 BB, 27 BF. 122 pitches, 82 strikes. Game score: 90
Lee's 2010 postseason: 3-0, 0.75 ERA, 24 IP, 34 Ks, 1 BB, 13 H, 2 ER

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


Since: May 4, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2010 12:53 pm

Another postseason pitching gem

When comparing pitching stats of AL to the NL you always have to concede at the minimum 1 full point on the era in favor of the the AL. The lineups are certainly tougher and for the most part spots 8 & 9 in a national league lineup are ususally automatic outs. That what makes Lee effort last night so special. Consider that he faced a team in their home ball park in the playoffs that has 2 sure hall of famers in Jeter and Arod and maybe Tex and Cano assuming they avoid any major injuries and continue to play at this level.  

Since: Aug 16, 2010
Posted on: October 19, 2010 12:44 pm

Another postseason pitching gem

You can not compare the pitching of these pitchers since they were pitched against different teams at different times and have nothing to do with one another. All faced different circumstances and were all great performances at the moment and should be left at that. A no hitter in the post season is for the ages and can not be compared to a great outing from anyone at any time. This game score thing is a bunch of crap and you should not even be put it in print. Stats are just that and are only good for a long term evaluation and have no place in comparing anyones performance in a single game. Let's just enjoy the success that these guys have had in the game they pitched and leave it at that. All 3 were downright great pitching performances period.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or