This past weekend, the Oakland Athletics held a turn-back-the-clock day, based around Rollie Fingers Bobblehead Day.
Today, they will hold a different sort of retro day. I call it "Turn Back The Cy Young Clock."
In a matchup of pitchers who used to be good, then weren't good for awhile, and now unexpectedly are good once again, the Chicago White Sox will send 2007 Cy Young winner Jake Peavy to the hill to face 2005 Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon of the A's. The parallels between these two pitchers' career paths are fascinating.
You are hopefully familiar with Bartolo Colon's career history, since he's been on your favorite team for several months now. In short, he enjoyed a run of 8 years of superb pitching, culminating in a Cy Young Award in 2005. Then he got hurt. Not just a little hurt, but career-ending hurt. Luckily for Colon, stem cells are a thing now, and doctors learned how to use them just in time for him to make an improbable comeback. Science! I like to imagine that Colon ate the stem cells straight out of human fetuses, like in that South Park episode with Christopher Reeve, but my research has been inconclusive. The important thing is that the procedure worked, and Colon is somehow good again.
Jake Peavy enjoyed a run of 5 years in which he was arguably the best pitcher in the National League, including a Cy Young Award of his own in 2007. In 2009, however, Peavy's body started breaking down, and he was dealt to the White Sox. After three straight seasons (2009-11) in which he barely cracked 100 innings (with a 96 ERA+, meaning he was slightly below average), Peavy was starting to look like a question mark going forward. Also, nobody bothered to update his Wikipedia page for the 2011 season, which seems both sad for him, and somewhat telling as to how much of a non-factor he had become. Even Mark Prior has a couple of sentences about his 2011 season, and I'm pretty sure he didn't even pitch in the Majors. Luckily for Peavy, though, he seems to have regained his form in the early-going of his age 31 season.
All of these career parellels were leading up to this stat, though. Two pitchers, both of whom
are were more renowned for their high strikeout totals rather than their low walk totals, are doing THIS this year:
Colon: 19 K, 2 BB (27.1 innings)
Peavy: 21 K, 2 BB (19.2 innings)
That fascinates me.
There will be other stuff in this game, like hitters and fielders and bullpens. The A's have two somewhat new relievers whom I know nothing about (Pedro Figueroa from AAA, and Rich Thompson from Slegna's system). We also have a new infielder named Luke Hughes. He's 27 years old, and was recently cut by the Twins, which are both facts that should not make you excited. However, Josh Donaldson was optioned to Sacramento to make room for him, so that might make you slightly excited if you weren't a fan of Donaldson (which I wasn't). Hughes is in the lineup tonight, so there will be plenty of time to make snap judgments about him.
Lineups, from Baseball Press:
|White Sox (J. Peavy - R) @ Athletics (B. Colon - R)|