In a nutshell our problem is this: the Hanshin Tigers can’t beat other teams’ best pitchers. The chart below lists the Central League’s ten best qualified (enough innings played to win individual awards) pitchers by ERA. Keep in mind this chart does not look at our record in games in which their aces got no-decisions.
|Pitcher||Team||Season ERA||vs. HT ERA||vs. HT Record|
|Kris Johnson||Carp||1.90||0.67||2W 0L|
|Tomoyuki Sugano||Giants||2.02||1.45||2W 1L|
|Kenta Maeda||Carp||2.08||0.60||2W 0L|
|Yudai Ohno||Dragons||2.43||0.69||3W 0L|
|Hiroki Kuroda||Carp||2.59||3.00||3W 0L|
|Hayato Takagi||Giants||2.96||1.64||2W 0L|
|Ryan Ogawa||Swallows||3.06||3.00||0W 0L|
|Aaron Poreda||Giants||3.07||2.75||5W 1L|
It does, however, show us a few interesting things:
- We are a combined 2-19 against the 8 best non-Tigers starters in the Central League. (This means that other CL pitchers are 33-53-2 against us.)
- Seven of those 8 pitchers have lower ERAs against our guys than they do against the rest of the league, i.e. we are not scoring very many runs against them.
- This chart does not even include Miles Mikolas (Giants), who barely does not qualify for the ERA title. He is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA against us
- The home stretch is going to be really tough! No doubt we will face two of those Giants pitchers in Tokyo (and possibly one back at Koshien). We will also be facing Kenta Maeda on Sunday (that’ll be today for most of the readers) and once more later on, with the possibility of seeing either Johnson or Kuroda as well.
I sure hope these numbers change a little over the final 15 games of the year, because otherwise it’s highly doubtful this team will be winning its first pennant in ten years. The challenge is on, men! Time to Go for the Top as ONE!