Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wade Davis: The Man

As I write this (Friday evening), Yahoo has yet to post the big news that the Rays beat the Yankees to move to within 1 game of the lead in the AL East. Instead the lead story is that the Yanks acquired Lance Berkman from the 'stros. Unfortunately all the money in NY can't buy a time machine to bring in the 2006 Lance Berkman (163 OPS+), the 2004 version (159 OPS+), or even the 2009 version (139 OPS+). They'll be getting the 2010 version which, while above average (117 OPS+), isn't the hitter you imagine when you say the words "Lance Berkman." So, while I'm sure he'll have some big moments with the new club, it's not AS big a deal as people would have us believe.

No friends, the story of the night was Wade "I'm pitching for my life" Davis. Everyone was in LOVE with Wade after a solid end to the year last year but have been calling for his head during a so-so year with a contending club. The numbers, however, tell a different story. How different? Going into tonight Davis had an ERA+ of 99. That's just below league average, and I'd say decent for a number 5 starter in his first year in the bigs. By comparison, media darling Phil Hughes, the All-Star he out-pitched tonight, had an ERA+ of 100, or exactly LEAGUE AVERAGE. Think media coverage doesn't matter? Hughes has been negligibly better than Davis yet made the AS team. Davis, on the other hand, has had folks saying we need to send him down to AAA. RIDICULOUS.

Anyway, congrats on a great start last night Wade! Way to go!

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