Having just witnessed a 1-6 road trip to Atlanta and Florida it’s hard to pick a favorite in the N.L. East. The Braves are older and presumably more succeptible to injury. their starting pitching is well above average and their offense should be okay. I like the Marlins line-up over the Braves especially with the off-season addition of Carlos Delgado. They’ve got speed at the top, plenty of sock in the middle from both sides of the plate. If there is a question mark with either club, it may be the bullpen. The Marlins rotation stacks up with any in baseball right now. I’d have to make the Marlins slight favorites.
John Smoltz is the only pitcher other than Dennis Eckersely to win 150 and save 150. I believe if he can get to two hundred wins he’ll end up in Cooperstown, and I think he’ll get those forty or so wins he needs.
Here’s my least favorite pitcher’s excuse, " I didn’t want to get beat with my second best pitch" Funny, I thought the idea was to not get beat period. I don’t find any merit in that line of thinking. If you think about it,if this is sound strategy then every time a pitcher was in a critical situation he’d throw his so called "best pitch." Being predictable isn’t an attribute you aspire to as a pitcher. The reality is we dwell too much on pitch selection. The execution of the pich is far more important regardless of what you pitch you select.