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It's the pitching, stupid
by alex ciepley
While we've all been awestruck by the unexpected (and historically great) Cubs Batting Massacre that Chicago has declared on its opponents in the month of April, the past week has seen a dizzying display of pitching from Cubbie hurlers. With Greg Maddux's first win of the young season on Friday, the pitching staff has now held opponents to a measly one run per game in four straight games. The starting pitcher's lines from those games:
IP H R BB SO Pitches Game Score Clement 6.3 4 1 4 6 107 63 Zambrano 8 7 1 2 4 111 66 Mitre 6 4 0 3 7 97 68 Maddux 7 7 1 1 8 86 66
For those of you unfamiliar with game scores, it's a quick and dirty formula for assigning a number to a pitching performance, with 50 being so-so and scores in the 60s being very good. Only five pitchers from last year averaged game scores of over 60:
Notice something? The Cubs' weeklong run of great pitching has come withoutKerry Wood or Mark Prior starting a game, both of whom are among baseball's elite. Wood goes tomorrow, Prior may possibly return in a few weeks, and National League hitters are biting their nails.