When Hudson, Hampton, and Thomson went down, I was pretty certain that the Braves' season was over. Never in a million years did I think I would be making the following comparison:
Hampton/Hudson/Thomson - 13-8, 194.2 IP, 187 H, 69 BB, 67 ER, 105 K, 14 HR, 3.10 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 4.84 K/9, 3.19 BB/9, .64 HR/9
Davies/Sosa/Colon - 7-4, 99 IP, 101 H, 41 BB, 39 ER, 69 K, 12 HR, 3.55 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 6.27 K/9, 3.73 BB/9, 1.09 HR/9
Admittedly, this is a small sample size of innings pitched and the numbers could skew dramatically in favor of the injured starters when opposing hitters have seen more of Sosa and Colon, as was the case with Kyle Davies. That said, this comparison is startling. The youngsters, consisting of a prospect who was thought to be 1-2 years away from the majors and two converted relievers, have come close to the production levels of three veteran, highly-compensated starters who were pitching very well when they were hurt. The youngsters have a significantly better strikeout rate, although they walk a few more hitters and are definitely not as good at keeping the ball in the park.
A couple other notes:
1. You know you suck when four scoreless innings, half of which took place when the game was no longer in doubt, are cause for a Kolb Regaining Confidence article. After he clearly couldn't handle the pressure of pitching in a key role for a team that expects to win, it's highly unlikely that I'll feel good with Kolb on the mound again.
2. It's always fun to look at the standings when your team is on a winning streak and today, when the Braves have the 7th best record in baseball, is no exception.