October baseball is supposed to be dominated by pitching. The team with the overall best pitching staff will win the World Series. This year, that theory has not been the case. Pitchers, especially aces are getting rocked in the postseason. We are talking big time names like Louis Severino and Corey Kluber. Meanwhile Zach Grenkie looks like Zack Wheeler. What the hell is going on. For starters, the pressure is getting to some of these young studs. For example, Yankees ace, Louis Severino looked lost during his first ever postseason start on Tuesday night. He only managed to last 1/3 of an inning and was pulled from the biggest start of his life. Luckily for Sevi, his offense picked him up and the Yankees ended up moving on to the ALDS. I have also found that while these aces are struggling, they are getting lucky and their offenses are coming up clutch for them.
I thought it was just nerves from a postseason newcomer but I was poorly mistaken. The night after Severino pitched, seasoned postseason veteran Zach Greinkie was set to make his Wild Card start for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Many were expecting him to dominate and early on that looked to be exactly the case. Greinke had his stuff early but that quickly changed in the top of the 4th inning. Greinke allowed 4 runs and was pulled from the game after 3 2/3 innings pitched. The Diamondbacks ended up winning the game in a thriller but sure hoped for a better start from there ace. Corey Kluber, (A.L. Cy Young ) favorite,
made his first postseason start of the year on Friday night against the Yankees. Kluber has been almost untouchable this season so the Cleveland faithful was expecting another stellar performance from there ace, The Yankees however, had other plans, quickly scoring 2 runs in the first, thanks to a home run by Yankee catcher, Gary Sanchez. Kluber threw nearly 36 pitches in the first inning and was not himself the entire night. He ended up pitching 2.2 innings giving up 7 hits along with 6 earned runs. The Indians ended up winning up on a wild comeback, but the recurring theme is that these aces who are underperforming are managing to get out of hot water.
One ace that did not get so lucky was Sox stud, Chris Sale. Sale made the Game One start on Thursday afternoon against the Houston Astros. Right off the jump, the Astros showed they had one of the best offenses in baseball, hitting back to back homers. The second of the back to back homers came from Astros second basemen, Jose Altuve. Altuve had a special day hitting three homers on the day, two of which were off Sale. As for the Cy Young hopeful, his final stat line read as followed: 5IP, 9H, 7ER and a big fat L. This was not the type of postseason debut Sale wanted and he hopes he will have a chance to redeem himself later on in the series. This is a perfect example of why October baseball is so special. The “Experts” can share this elaborate theory of how the playoffs are statistically dominated by pitching and we should expect to see the same this year, but you just never know because anything and I mean ANYTHING can happen in the playoffs.