MLB: CC Sabathia Grabs 19th Victory

MLB: CC Sabathia Grabs 19th Victory

words_Nick Engvall

This year’s Major League Baseball season continues to be dominated by pitching. The latest example came Thursday from CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees. Sabathia threw eight innings against the Oakland A’s allowing only one hit along the way, as the Yankees moved to 84-50 on the season.

CC Sabathia gets 19th Victory Against the A's.For Sabathia it improves his win total to a league leading 19 games on the season, tying a personal best that occurred once last season and once in the 2007 season. Sabathia breezed through the Oakland lineup today, striking out 5 along the way. Sabathia’s pitching dominance was evident by Oakland’s struggle to even hit the ball out of the infield.

Jorge Posada gave Sabathia all the run support he would need in the second inning with a solo home run. The Yankees would tack on four more runs for insurance over the course of the game as Curtis Granderson homered in both the sixth and seventh innings.

Sabathia’s win today came against another pitcher who has shown the same type of pitching prowess a few times this season, Dallas Braden. Braden pitched well through five innings, but that’s about where it ended as Braden was removed from the game in the sixth inning with leg cramps.

In his next start, which should come next week against Baltimore, Sabathia will look to become this season’s first 20-game winner, and the first pitcher since 2008 when both Cliff Lee and Brandon Webb put up 22 in the win column.

Sabathia also added to his win streak at home in New York’s Yankee Stadium. He’s now 16-0 in his last 21 starts in the Bronx. That streak dates back to the 2009 All-Star break, but even without the home winning streak, Sabathia is easily a top candidate for the American League Cy Young award.

I’m sure he’d agree that adding a second Cy Young Award in a year that is largely regarded as “the year of the pitcher” would be the perfect accessory for his first Cy Young Award that came in 2007.

image via yahoo

MLB: CC Sabathia Grabs 19th Victory

MLB: Is Dominant Pitching For Better or Worse?

words_Nick Engvall

Pitching, that is what will define the 2010 Major League Baseball season. Whether it is the amount of no-hitters we’ve seen thus far, or the perfect game that deserves an asterisk, this year has been loaded with low scoring games and great pitching. Ironically, it is those two things that are often criticized for making the game boring.

Ubaldo JimenezJimenezHowever, as a fan of both close games and pitching, I thought it might be good to look at what the two things actually have done for the game this year.

First up, we have to talk about the no-hitters. This year, the game has seen five pitchers throw no-hitters, two of which were perfect games. Three, if you include Armando Galarraga’s incredible outing that slipped out of the record books due to a clearly questionable call.

We almost had three perfect games this year. Before this season we’ve never had two in the same season during the modern era but Roy Halladay and Dallas Braden decided to make May the month of the pitcher, until Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies decided he would like June to be as well. Jimenez ran off 33 scoreless innings into the beginning of June. Apparently he decided that his 25+ scoreless inning streak in April, which included a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves, was just not good enough.

Stephen StrasburgThen there is Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals’ rookie has brought an unbelievable excitement to baseball in the Nation’s Capital. After 9 starts he has a 2.32 ERA and 75 strikeouts to only 15 walks, that kind of control should have politicians taking notes on how to run things.

Yeah all the pitching statistics are impressive, but what if you are not into that kind of thing? What if you’re bored with pitching, is there anything exciting about this season for you?

Let’s take a look at the competitiveness of the division races.

This year as of August 1st, of the top two teams in each division only one was separated by more than 2.5 games that’s the American League West. In 2009 at the same point, half of the division leaders were separated by four or more games.  Through this point of the year this season there are 20 teams playing at .500 or better, and at the same time last year, only 16 teams were playing at the same level, and only 15 the year before that.

The pitching may be getting all the attention this year due to the no-hitters, but it has made the Major League Baseball more competitive as a whole.

As far as the game goes, I guess that depends on how you look at it, but it seems that when a majority of the games are more competitive, that same majority is also more fun to watch. Or at least more fun to watch than A-Rod still attempting to hit home run number 600 weeks later, right?