2. Pitching Wins Championships
There’s an old saying in baseball that pitching wins championships. Well luckily for us, we have plenty of pitching to go around.
Let’s start with the rotation, which is pretty great. Even with Michael Lorenzen being a total dud and moving to the bullpen, we still have five healthy quality starters in Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Taijuan Walker, Ranger Suarez and Christopher Sanchez. None of them has an ERA over 4.50, so there are no weak spots there.
The bullpen hasn’t been quite as steady with nine different pitchers recording saves, but Craig Kimbrel is still a reliable option at the end of games. Rob Thomson says he plans to use a closer-by-committee approach in the postseason, which speaks to the depth we have. He has a number of quality options he can call on at various points in the game.
Kimbrel’s great, but he’s not even our best reliever. Jeff Hoffman owns a 2.47 ERA, and Matt Strahm is 9-4 with a 3.15 ERA. Gregory Soto and Jose Alvarado have considerable closing experience as well.
Thanks to our sturdy rotation, the bullpen hasn’t been overtaxed, either. Kimbrel and Strahm are the only relievers with over 60 innings. That means the relief corps should still have some gas left in the tank, which sets us up well for October when having a deep stable of relievers becomes even more important.