I guess it's a tad generous to describe anything in baseball this year as a "pennant race," considering none of the eight teams currently in line to make the playoffs has worse than a 78 percent chance of getting the job done.
Nevertheless, if we take the Sox' and Yanks' nearly annual battle for the AL East crown seriously (and we as fans do, even if the teams themselves don't seem to), there's no divisional race as close as this one. Given that fact, it's clear the following two pitchers have no business taking the mound in a meaninful game the rest of the season:
- Pitcher A: 61.1 IP, 81 H, 12 BB, 39 K, 5.72 ERA, .879 OPS allowed, 1.52 WHIP, Avg, game score: 41
- Pitcher B: 54.1 IP, 70 H, 27 BB, 52 K, 7.79 ERA, .957 OPS allowed, 1.79 WHIP, Avg. game score: 39
These would be, of course, Tim Wakefield and A.J. Burnett since July 1.
Here's how they stack up against their peers in the same timeframe:
- Jon Lester, 2.36
- Josh Beckett, 2.77
- CC Sabathia, 2.87
- Freddy Garcia, 2.89
- Ivan Nova, 3.40
- Erik Bedard, 3.46*
- Bartolo Colon, 4.33
- Phil Hughes, 4.70**
- Andrew Miller, 4.78
- John Leckey, 5.01***
- Tim Wakefield, 5.72
- A.J. Burnett, 7.79
*Since coming to the Red Sox July 31. **3.70 ERA until last start. ***4.11 ERA since July 9.
I think that speaks for itself.