Here we sit on April 25th and there are three aces who have yet to record a win for their teams: Matt Cain for the Giants, Cole Hamels for the Phillies and 2012 Cy Young Award winner David Price.
If I could have made a wager on this happening, can you imagine the odds I could have gotten? At least a million to one. But here we are, all three pitchers without a win.
Not only are all three without a win, but their teams have lost all 15 combined games the trio has started. Hamels is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA, Cain is 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA and Price is 0-2 with a 5.52 ERA. They only have seven decisions between them, but the fact remains that their teams have not won a single game that their Opening Day starters have pitched. Consider that Stephen Strasburg is 1-4, and you have four teams that were supposed to at least compete — and in the Nats’ case, be the class of the NL.
If you look closely at their starts, they have been all that bad. Other than Strasburg, who has an ERA in the low 3s, the other three have elevated ERAs, but they have all pitched well enough to win some games. Those four pitchers’ teams being 1-19 in their starts is hard to fathom.
It goes to show you that even if you are an ace, you still can’t make mistakes in the middle of the plate. And that has been the case for Hamels, Price and Cain. Price has the most overpowering stuff, but when you make mistakes in the middle you pay. What makes great pitchers is not always giving up the fewest hits, but when you give them up. All three guys have given up too many hits with two outs and runners on. Those are the times when you as a pitcher have to make the pitch to end the inning.
As bad as it has gone for all four of these guys, I will still take the bet that they will all end up over .500 and all reach double digits in wins by the end of the year. So please, guys. Get back to being yourselves. I don’t want to look stupid!