Pitching matchups for game one of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants
By Timmy Kennedy
The San Francisco Giants will take on the Washington Nationals in game one of the National League Division Series, 2014 today. Having used staff ace, Madison Bumgarner, in the victorious do-or-die wild card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jake Peavy will square off with the National’s number one starter, Stephen Strasburg in Washington.
Peavy will take the mound in red-hot form. Since joining the Giants from the Red-Sox prior to the trade deadline in a trade which saw prospects Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree get shipped to Boston, he has been simply incredible, for lack of a better superlative. Boasting an ERA of 2.17 and a FIP of 3.03, Peavy has been an ace, of late.
Similarly, Strasburg is a force to reckoned with. While on the whole his season statistics are great, but not quite ace-worthy, don’t let them fool you. The main secret to his dominance is pitching at home. When Strasburg takes the ball in the capital, he is lights out. Pre-eminent, almost. He will probably strike you out. At home, the righty has a career ERA of 2.57 and a career K/9 of well over ten.
So, I guess things are pretty even between the two, actually. The next big question is: How have both fared in the postseason during their careers? Well — Strasburg has never pitched in a postseason game, and hence lacks any experience or know-how in terms of trying to win a game in October, because, well, as we all know, it is a completely ball-game to an average regular season game.
On the other hand, Peavy has plenty of experience. While it may seem it’s game, set and match Peavy, sadly it’s not. So far, in his career, in the postseason Jake owns a pretty horrible ERA of well over nine. Ouch. Having said that, I doubt Peavy has ever gone into a postseason game in such form. Furthermore, something which is pretty evident when watching the righty pitch: His emotion. His desire. His passion, are things Strasburg simply can’t match. I hope.
Overall, I’m quietly optimistic. Does my optimism stem from the fact I’m a Giants fan? Maybe. In all reality do the Giants have a good chance of winning? Yes. If you ask me, anyway. I think having all the passionate and hopefully consequently fired-up rookies, mixed with guys who have been there, done that, got the ring playing behind Jake, is a match made in heaven. Having the experienced Jake Peavy on the mound makes me very happy, indeed.