Duchscherer 1-Hits Boston
by Ken Arneson
2008-05-24 22:25

If you don’t know anything about Justin Duchscherer, you might think tonight’s 1-hit shutout of Boston is just one of those fluky things that happens in baseball: any bum can have a good day. Heck, Mike Warren threw a no-hitter once.

There was nothing fluky about Justin Duchscherer’s performance tonight. Justin Duchscherer is flat out a great pitcher. This is exactly the sort of thing he’s been doing for years. He should have been a starter years ago, but he got stuck in the setup role (a) because the A’s have had a lot of good starting pitchers, and (b) he’s been so damn good in the setup role.

This year, he’s finally getting his shot at starting. Take a look at what he’s done so far this year:

5.0 IP, 1 ER.
5.0 IP, 2 ER.
5.0 IP, 1 ER.
7.0 IP, 2 ER.
6.2 IP, 1 ER.
5.0 IP, 3 ER.
8.0 IP. 0 ER.

Now look at his career ERAs since he came to Oakland:
2003: 3.31
2004: 3.27
2005: 2.21
2006: 2.91
2007: 4.96 (*injured hip)
2008: 2.16

There’s a lot of trade speculation about Rich Harden and Joe Blanton, and those two guys are good pitchers, but if you judge by actual career performance, Justin Duchscherer has been a better pitcher than both of them:

Duchscherer: 3.36 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
Harden: 3.56 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
Blanton: 4.08 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

Duchscherer doesn’t get his due, because he doesn’t throw 99 MPH like Harden or even 93 like Blanton, and he’s been stuck in an unglamorous role for too many years. But mixing those precision mid-80 mph cutters with his 12-to-6 curveball, he keeps getting hitters off balance, and generating out after out after out. If the Angels keep racking up wins, and the A’s can’t keep up and decide to become sellers in July, the smart teams will be asking about Duchscherer just as much as Harden and Blanton.

Comments: 7
1.   Philip Michaels
2008-05-25 00:02

1.  I was opposed to the turn-Duchscherer-into-a-starter movement. To me, it was a repeat of what the A's did with Joe Kennedy last season -- taking a perfectly outstanding bullpen component and turning him into a run-of-the-mill starter.

It turns out I am wrong -- pleasantly, happily wrong -- about Duchscherer's ability to fit into the starting rotation.

2.   jmoney
2008-05-25 00:19

2.  Watching the Duke pitch has been one of the secret joys of being an A's fan the last few years. Tonight, he reminded me a little of Greg Maddux. There's nothing that compares with watching an utterly dominant guy like Harden blow a team away, but it's such a pleasure to watch Duchscherer, who is so precise with his stuff and really knows how to pitch. Harden is a force of nature, but Duchscherer is an artist.

3.   RIYank
2008-05-25 04:09

3.  Why isn't he locked up to a longer deal? I guess the answer is obvious: Bean doesn't do that.

4.   Agronox
2008-05-25 06:32

4.  I'm over on the East Coast, and when I tell people I'm an A's fan, they look at me like I'm a little weird. When they ask who my favorite A is, and I tell them Duchscherer, they first look at me confused and then look at me like I'm nuts.

But he's just a guy who goes out there, keeps a low profile, and gets the job done. Great player.

5.   Ken Arneson
2008-05-25 07:40

5.  1 The difference between Kennedy and Duchscherer is that Kennedy had been tried as a starter before, and failed. The set up role was the first place Kennedy had found that kind of success. Duchscherer has done nothing but succeed at everything he's tried.

2 Exactly. I'd say only Mariano Rivera and Maddux have a cutter better than Duchscherer's. It's a great pitch.

3 Yeah, plus Duchscherer is 30 years old and missed most of last year with hip surgery.

6.   StolenMonkey86
2008-05-25 17:36

6.  the smart teams will be asking about Duchscherer just as much as Harden and Blanton.

so you're saying Duchscherer won't be a Dodger come August

7.   bk2
2008-05-27 12:51

7.  Great story on another Athletic, The Big Hurt

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3413940

Comments on this post are closed.
This is Ken Arneson's blog about baseball, brains, art, science, technology, philosophy, poetry, politics and whatever else Ken Arneson feels like writing about
Original Sites
Recent Posts
Contact Ken
Twitter

LinkedIn

Email: Replace the first of the two dots in this web site's domain name with an @.
Google Search
Web
Toaster
Ken Arneson
Archives
2021
01   

2020
10   09   08   07   06   05   
04   

2019
11   

2017
08   07   

2016
06   01   

2015
12   11   03   02   

2014
12   11   10   09   08   04   
03   01   

2013
12   10   08   07   06   05   
04   01   

2012
12   11   10   09   04   

2011
12   11   10   09   08   07   
04   02   01   

2010
10   09   06   01   

2009
12   02   01   

2008
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2007
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2006
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2005
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2004
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2003
12   11   10   09   08   07   
06   05   04   03   02   01   

2002
12   10   09   08   07   05   
04   03   02   01   

1995
05   04   02