Baseball Press presents "The 606", a look at the most intriguing pitching matchup of the day, with a final prediction of the winning pitcher. You may be asking yourself "What exactly does The 606 mean? There's no major league baseball for that area code- it's in Eastern Kentucky!" BBP isn't listing players from Eastern Kentucky either. The 606 is short for 60 feet and 6 inches. If you still don't understand, I direct your attention to Official Rule 1.07 from Major League Baseball, referring to the distance from the pitching mound to home plate. Now that we've got that squared away, let's take a look at today's featured pitching matchup for Wednesday, September 1st.
Yesterday, Felix Hernandez
and Dan Haren
put on a pitching clinic in Seattle. King Felix had another great outing and made his case stronger for the AL Cy Young award, but ultimately had to leave after seven innings. The Mariners would win the game after putting up three runs in the home half of the eighth inning.
No Decision: Felix Hernandez (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 0.86 WHIP)
The 606 Season-to-Date Record (W-L-ND): 101-86-63, 3.73 ERA (648 ER in 1562.2 IP)
Today in the 606, a recently acquired right-handed hurler looks to keep his team in postseason picture, while a future NL Cy Young candidate is out to prove that he is the best pitcher in the NL West.
RHP Roy Oswalt - PHI (9-13 3.12 ERA) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw - LAD (11-8, 3.01 ERA)
Since joining the Phillies in late July, Roy Oswalt has been just what the Phillies needed, as they look to catch the Braves in the National League East standings and stay atop the NL Wild Card standings. Before arriving in Philadelphia, Oswalt pitched well, but hardly ever received the run support needed (2.3 runs per start) to win games. In his four starts with the Phillies this season, Oswalt is 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. Also in those four starts, Oswalt has received 4.3 runs of support per start. During his last start against the NL West division leader San Diego Padres, Oswalt took a no decision after allowing just one earned run over eight innings. He also struck out six and walked none. Oswalt has made 11 appearances (10 starts) against the Dodgers over his career, posting a 7-3 record with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Roy has allowed just four home runs to the Dodgers during his career, tied for his lowest total of homers given up against a National League team (Also has 4 home runs allowed against the Washington Nationals). Right fielder Andre Ethier is hitting .214/.267/.571 with 1 HR and 2 strikeouts against Oswalt over 14 at-bats.
It's been another terrific season for Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, showing that even at age 22, he's one of the best pitchers in the National League. While Kershaw may only have two wins since the All Star break, he's posted 52/24 K:BB ratio over 58 innings. As most left-handed pitchers are good against left-handed hitters, Clayton is no exception, as he's kept lefties to a .182/.270/.394 stat line against him this season. He relies on a good mid-nineties fastball and a low-eighties slider to keep hitters guessing. While throwing his slider close to 20% of the time this season, he's allowed just five extra-base hits. In his most recent outing against the Colorado Rockies, Kershaw allowed one earned run on a home run over six innings, while striking out six and walking two, but took a no decision. Against the Phillies during his career, Kershaw has made five starts, posting a 0-3 record with a 5.67 ERA.
Final Prediction: Roy Oswalt