Battle of the Beltways: Pitching vs Offense

DC Sports Nexus ---- Sunday, June 10, 2012

You know how they say "good pitching beats good hitting"?  Well they say it for a reason... 

Putting the 'O in Offense.  
During the first Beltways series I talked about how offensively the Orioles were a superior team.  Even in the darkest stretchs of the past few seasons of Baltimore baseball the team has always been able to put up runs.

This season, with the emergence of Adam Jones into a true superstar, there is no question about the offensive capabilities of the Orioles.  For a long stretch of this season the O's lead major league baseball in home runs and were among the top teams in terms of runs scored.

Those Nasty Nat's Pitchers.
Starting pitching was the one area that I thought the Nat's had an advantage over Baltimore.  With Strasburg and Gio leading the way, and the potentials of Zimmermann and Jackson, everybody knew the rotation could be pretty good.  I'm not sure anyone thought it could be THIS good.

The Nat's lead all of baseball with a collective ERA of 2.97.  The second team on the list has 3.22.   Youth and injury have lead to questions about the consistency of the Nat's offense, but no one is doubting what they will get off the mound.

The Dark Times...
The Orioles and Nationals started the season in first place as both teams were firing on all cylinders.  Life was good.  Then weaknesses for both squads emerged.  All of a sudden the Orioles pitchers, who had been exceeding all expectations, came crashing down to earth.

In Washington, the Nat's saw their offense dry up as key players like Zimmerman, LaRoche, and Espinosa got bogged down in slumps.  In the face of adversity, both teams relied on their strengths to carry them through.  The Orioles kept hacking away at the ball and the Nat's pitchers kept hurling.

And Here We Are.
The Nationals are still in first place, but the Orioles have dropped to third.  Even when it felt like the Nationals could only score 1 to 2 runs a game I wasn't worried because a lot of the time that's all it took to get a win.

On the flip side, I have to watch the Orioles play games were they put 6 runs and watch them lose because they gave up 9.  Sure, putting up all those runs is exciting, but I'm going to take the lights out pitching 100% of the time.  Wouldn't you?  

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