Pressure is on the Pitchers in this Pivotal Post-Season Match


In the must win game five of the ALDS both the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers will place their Championship hopes on the arms of two young, inexperienced pitchers. Game five will be a rematch of game one, where Yankees’ Rookie, Ivan Nova’s two earned runs over six and a third innings earned the victory over Doug Fister and the Tigers. While on the surface it appears that Ivan Nova had the more dominant regular season, as he collected 16 victories and only four losses, opposed to Fister’s 11-13 Win-Loss mark. However, over the last two months of the season, Fister was the best pitcher on the Tigers, (A staff that features presumable Al Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander), going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 11 starts. Check out Nova’s and Fister’s home and away records in the regular season.

While Fister’s had a phenomenal August and September on the hill, he only faced clubs with winning records twice in his 11 starts. Nova, playing in the AL East, faced fierce lineups all year. Compare the amount of Earned Runs Nova and Fister allowed in each of their starts and how it affected their ERAs. Notice that Nova’s ERA was very mercurial while Fister’s ERA significantly tapered off towards the end of the season while facing sub-par lineups.

Examining tonight’s starting pitcher’s Strikeout to Walk Ratio when broken down by home and away, one notices that Fister’s control is more consistent. Also, Nova’s 1.39 home Strikeout to Walk Ratio is nearly three times less than Fister’s 4.12 away Strikeout to Walk Ration and reduces the Bronx Bombers’ advantage at Yankee Stadium.

Fister’s overall regular season WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) was .26 points better than Nova’s and Fister’s away WHIP is .34 points better than Nova’s home. Check out Fister’s and Nova’s WHIPs in the regular season.

While is appears that Fister is the better pitcher, if one factors in their Strikeout to Walk Ratios, WHIPs and Fister’s stellar August and September, Nova was much better in game one. Will Fister again blow up against the powerful Yankees’ lineup and torpedo the Tigers’ season? Or will Nova’s inexperience and lackluster numbers at Yankee Stadium derail the Yankees’ October? Either way a young pitcher will likely become a postseason hero.

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