The Yanks and Sox both went into today's games trying to avoid a home sweep with their respective 'Aces' on the mound. How'd it work out?
Josh Beckett gave up 8 runs (7 earned) on 11 hits (his pitches looked something like the picture above) in 5 and one third innings tonight as the Red Sox got swept at home by the LA Angels.
Joba Chamberlain gave up 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits in 6 innings today as the Yanks avoided the sweep at home and pounded the Baltimore Orioles.
A true Ace is a 'stopper;' a true Ace can be counted on to win the 'gotta win" game. Once again, Blisters didn't show up.
Regular readers of YankeeGM Blog have probably already figured out that the way certain all-sports TV stations have anointed Josh Beckett the King of Aces has annoyed me to no end. The guy has had some very good (borderline dominant) seasons, but has lacked the necessary consistency to be considered the best pitcher (or even the best big game pitcher) in baseball. Yet still when anyone speaks at ESPN they invariably follow the word 'Ace' with three additional words..."like Josh Beckett."
An example. I'm sure you've all heard this one -
"The Yankees passed on Johan Santana this off season and therefore lack an Ace like the Sox' Josh Beckett."
"The hope in moving Joba to the rotation is that he becomes a staff Ace giving the Yankees someone to match up with the likes of Josh Beckett."
Can we please put this to rest? Beckett is currently the proud owner of an ERA that is exactly 0.33 away from being double that of Joba. For 2008 Beckett is projected by ESPN to allow 4 times as many home runs as Joba. Beckett's batting average against is 39 points higher, his OPS against is 115 points higher and his strikeouts are almost fully 2 K's per 9 innings lower than Joba.
My point is not that Joba is the best pitcher in baseball (not yet, anyway). My point is that if a 22 year old kid who is not the best pitcher in baseball is THIS MUCH BETTER than him, how can these morons keep talking about him as if he's Sandy Freekin' Koufax?!?
Note to Peter, Buster, Tim and the genius that is Steve Phillips (Kazmir for Zambrano? Really?), I recognize the intense man-love you all feel for boy-wonder Theo; I see, every day, the unhealthy infatuation you all share for the team from New England; but for future reference -
Johan Santana is an Ace.
Jake Peavy is an Ace.
Brandon Webb is an Ace.
Doc Halliday is an Ace.
Joshy Blisters IS NOT.