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 Sunday, September 5th.
Yesterday, Trevor Cahill held the Angels offense to just four hits, capturing his 15th win of the season. Although the 22-year old held the Angels scoreless over six innings, he issued a career high six walks.
Win: Trevor Cahill (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 6 BB, 4 K, 1.67 WHIP)
The 606 Season-to-Date Record (W-L-ND): 103-88-63, 3.71 ERA (654 ER in 1588 IP)
In today's 606, it's a battle between two first place teams. While the Twins are holding on to a slim lead in the AL Central, the Rangers are in sitting in cruise control atop the AL West standings.
LHP C.J. Wilson - TEX (14-5 2.88 ERA) vs. RHP Nick Blackburn - MIN (8-9, 6.04 ERA)
The Texas Rangers have a terrific offense, but it's their pitching rotation that is sometime overlooked. A major contributor to that winning rotation is C.J. Wilson. The lefty. who was converted from a relief pitcher to a full-time starter during the offseason, has been one of the best pitchers since the All Star break. Since the AS break, Lefty-Lefty has gone 7-0 with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP over nine starts. Also during those nine starts, Wilson has a 8.9 strikeout per nine innings ratio (K/9) and a 2.64 strikeout to walk ratio (K/BB). Wilson has faced the Twins twice this season and has posted mix results. When Wilson faced the Twins at Target Field back in May, he allowed five earned runs over six innings and was handed his third loss of the season. In his most recent outing against the Twins while in Texas, Wilson allowed two earned runs over six innings, while striking out six and walking two.
Below is a pitch location chart for Wilson's last start against the Twins:
Since returning from a four-game stint in the Minor Leagues, Nick Blackburn has shown signs of improvements. Prior to his demotion, Nick was 7-7 with a 6.66 ERA and had allowed 19 home runs over 104 innings. Upon his return, Blackburn has a 2.16 ERA and has allowed just one home run over 16 2/3 innings. He's also held opponents to a .190/.217/.293 batting line. He faced the Rangers during his first start back from the Minors, allowing three earned runs on eight hits, striking out five and walking zero over seven innings, taking a loss. For his career against the Rangers, Blackburn is 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA over three starts. Over 19 innings, he's allowed two home runs and just two walks.
Final Prediction: C.J. Wilson