They can pitch there too

With all this talk of offense, it might seem like no one can get anyone out in the first week and change of AFL games. While the overall league is still tilted heavily in the hitter’s advantage (see update on league average and ERA at the end of this post), there certainly are some terrific pitching prospects in Arizona and a few have even found a way to retire a few hitters.

You have to tip your cap to the Twins’ Glen Perkins. The lefty not only went four scoreless and struck out six on Tuesday, yielding just two hits, he did it against the juggernaut Scorpions (who, it was pointed out to me, are now in Surprise, not Scottsdale as I blogged yesterday). Grand Canyon went on to win that game 8-2 thanks to two homers from Eric Duncan, who’s now hitting .522 with five homers. And our friend B-Wood was at it again, with homer No. 8, which would’ve tied him for the league title a year ago.

Oops, how’d I get back on offense again? My bad. While Perkins earned AFL Star of the Day honors for his efforts, a big honorable mention should go to Giants southpaw Brian Burres (Tuesday is evidently lefty day in the AFL). Burres went five scoreless, allowing three hits and whiffing eight as his Solar Sox beat the Javelinas, 9-2. Phillies hurler Scott Mathieson also deserves some kudos. He’s taken the hill twice and has struck out 13 in 7 1/3 IP. Jered Weaver has 10 K’s against no walks in 5 IP, though he did get hit a little on Tuesday, while a few relievers (at least they are in the AFL so far) like Jeremy Hill and Wes Littleton are off to good starts. Their performances deserve extra attention as a contrast to the hitting landscape that has been painted so far.

Here’s where the league totals are through Tuesday’s games:

All-time batting average record: .292 (2004)
2005 average: .312

All-time worst ERA: 5.32 (2004)
2005 ERA: 6.76 (coming down slowly?)

4 Comments

It seems that the AFL always has way more offensive stats. Are the parks they play in hitters parks or is it just because there are always way more talented hitters then pitchers? I could see how trying to shut down a line-up like Surprise would give a pitcher nightmares. Clubs are always more careful with arms then position players and for good reason. You do want your pitchers to face the best but I’m sure you also don’t want confidence shattered as this league could easily do to pitchers.

Also other then the fact Eric Duncan has been on fire is there a reason Matt Moses hasn’t been in the line-up recently?

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Nafro — Look for an answer to your questions in next week’s Mailbag. It’ll take me that long to find out about park effects, etc., in the AFL.

Thank you very much for addressing my question. Moses was the desiganted hitter and went 2 for 4 with a homer tonight, so I still don’t know if he was out due to Duncan raking or if he’s nursing an injury which is quite possible being that this will be the most games and at bats he’s probably ever had. Regardless it seems he is back playing and may be developing into a top line prospect. Geez team USA could just field a Twins minor league team.

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