Pitchers of the Postseason09/18/2013 12:46 PM ET
By John Parker / MiLB.com
Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league during the 2013 postseason:
Jake Odorizzi, Durham
(0-1, 0.50 ERA, 3 G, 3 GS, 18 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 5 BB, 24 K)
Though the Triple-A Championship Game didn't go quite as Odorizzi might have hoped -- he took the loss as Durham fell to Omaha, 2-1 -- the Rays prospect was lights-out in the Governors' Cup playoffs for the IL-champion Bulls. Though he didn't get a decision in either of his starts, the 23-year-old right-hander fired 14 scoreless frames while allowing five hits and fanning 18. Combined with his final outing of the regular season, Odorizzi closed out the IL campaign with 22 straight scoreless innings.
Durham's Odorizzi strikes out Polanco
Pacific Coast League
Jarrett Grube, Salt Lake
(1-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 14 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 4 BB, 15 K)
After dropping the first two games of the PCL Finals in Omaha, the Bees needed a strong performance from their starter to stay alive. Grube answered the call with a two-hit shutout while matching a season-high with 11 strikeouts. The 31-year-old right-hander hadn't gone more than seven innings in any of his 28 regular-season starts -- and had been torched for five earned runs by Omaha over 3 1/3 innings on Aug. 4 -- but extended Salt Lake's season with a brilliant performance.
Salt Lake's Grube fans Lambin en route to shutout
Warwick Saupold, Erie
(0-0, 1.13 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 7 K)
The SeaWolves won just one postseason game this year, and while Saupold didn't earn the victory, his strong start gave Erie the opportunity to beat Harrisburg in 12 innings in Game 2 of the EL semifinals. The 23-year-old Australian kept the Senators off the board for seven innings before yielding a leadoff double to Sean Nicol, who later scored on a sacrifice fly, in the eighth. Saupold's seven strikeouts were one shy of a season high.
Chris Bassitt, Birmingham
(2-0, 0.71 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 2/3 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 16 K)
Not only did Bassitt win the opening game of the Southern League Finals -- on the road, against the two-time defending champions -- but he did it by outdueling the circuit's Most Outstanding Pitcher, Archie Bradley. It was Bassitt's second Game 1 win of the postseason after tossing seven one-run innings against Tennessee in the semifinals. Though Bradley finished sixth in the Minors with 162 strikeouts during the regular season, it was Bassitt who topped the SL playoff list with 16 punchouts in 12 2/3 innings.
Starter Bassitt dominant in Barons' win
Matt Wisler, San Antonio
(1-0, 0.56 ERA, 3 G, 2 GS, 16 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 6 BB, 13 K)
Wisler did a little bit of everything for the Missions, who went to the five-game limit in both their playoff series. The right-hander, who turned 21 on Sept. 12, was the starting pitcher in both series openers, holding Corpus Christi to one run on two hits over 6 1/3 frames in the semis and firing 6 2/3 scoreless, three-hit innings in the finals. In the fifth game of the finals, Wisler came out of the bullpen for the first time all season to toss three no-hit innings as San Antonio won its fifth title in 12 years.
San Antonio's Wisler strikes out Hankerd
Orangel Arenas, Inland Empire
(1-1, 1.80 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 15 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 2 HBP, 4 BB, 10 K)
Inland Empire clinched a Finals berth the hard way, edging host Lancaster, 4-3, in the 15th inning of the decisive Game 5. Having used seven pitchers in the marathon win, the 66ers needed a strong start from Arenas in Game 1 of the Finals the following day. They got it, as the 24-year-old right-hander went eight scoreless innings, holding San Jose to three hits and two walks while fanning six. It was the start of an impressive three-game sweep by the 66ers, who outscored the Giants, 16-2, to claim their first league crown since 2006.
Greg Ross, Lynchburg
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 2 HBP, 1 BB, 10 K)
Lynchburg's playoff exit was painful -- the Hillcats lost both their games by one run in walk-off fashion -- but Ross' Game 1 performance was masterful. The Baltimore native, who went 10-6 with a 3.01 ERA during the regular season, held Potomac to two hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters over six scoreless innings. Despite the effort, Lynchburg went on to a 2-1, 14-inning defeat. Ross, a 24-year-old right-hander, allowed just four home runs in 146 1/3 innings in 2013.
Florida State League
C.J. Edwards, Daytona
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 10 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 11 K)
In 2011, Edwards was a skinny 48th-round Draft pick. He's still skinny -- 6-foot-2 and 155 pounds -- two years later, but this season he emerged as one of the top strikeout pitchers in the Minors. His 12 strikeouts per nine innings ranked fifth among all full-season starters, and he was a coveted asset acquired by the Cubs from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal. The trade paid immediate dividends for Daytona. The right-hander, who turned 22 earlier this month, held FSL hitters to a .169 average in six regular-season appearances and saved his best for the playoffs. Edwards went five innings and was the winning pitcher in both of the D-Cubs' series-clinching games: in the semifinals he held Daytona hitless while fanning eight; in the Finals he allowed one hit and struck out three. He faced three over the minimum in his two postseason outings.
Josh Hader, Quad Cities
(2-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 9 K)
Traded from the Orioles to the Astros in the Bud Norris deal at the trade deadline, Hader joined a Quad Cities team that already featured two overall No. 1 picks in Carlos Correa (2012) and Mark Appel (2013). It was the 19-year-old Hader who stood out most in the playoffs, however, as the southpaw won both of his playoff starts. Hader tossed seven scoreless innings in the title-clinching game, allowing three hits and a walk while fanning eight as the River Bandits sealed their second championship in three seasons.
South Atlantic League
Steven Matz, Savannah
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 2/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 17 K)
Like Edwards, Matz was the winner in both of the Gnats' series-clinching games. Both he and Sally League Most Outstanding Pitcher Gabriel Ynoa went 2-0 in the playoffs, but the left-handed Matz was the sharper of the two, tossing 12 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just five hits and fanning 17. The 22-year-old held rival Augusta to one hit in seven innings to sweep the two teams' semifinal series, then struck out nine over 5 2/3 shutout frames as the Gnats topped Hagerstown for their first title since 1996.
New York-Penn League
Kyle Westwood, Tri-City
(2-0, 0.69 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 11 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 2 HBP, 2 BB, 7 K)
It's tough to stand out in a system as loaded with prospects as that of the Astros, but Westwood, a 13th-round pick out of North Florida in June, did so by posting a 0.81 ERA in 11 regular-season outings (eight starts) for Tri-City. The 22-year-old right-hander was just as tough in the playoffs, allowing just one run in 13 innings. Westwood was the winning pitcher in both of the ValleyCats' series-clinching games, sending the Astros affiliate past Aberdeen with seven scoreless frames in the first round before firing six strong innings in Tri-City's 4-3 win over State College in the decisive third game of the Finals.
Paul Blackburn, Boise
(1-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 17 K)
Blackburn, a first-round pick in 2012, had a solid regular season for the Hawks, going 2-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 13 outings (12 starts). He saved the overwhelming for the playoffs. The 19-year-old right-hander had never pitched past the fifth inning as a pro before hurling seven scoreless frames in the Hawks' postseason opener against Salem-Keizer. Five days later he struck out a career-high nine batters over five innings in Boise's Finals Game 2 loss to Vancouver. After fanning 38 over 46 regular-season innings, Blackburn set down 17 in just 12 playoff frames.
Carlos Misell, Pulaski
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 0 GS, 2 SV, 3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 8 K)
Misell pitched only 4 2/3 innings for Pulaski in the regular season, but he allowed no runs and two hits while fanning 10. He pitched only 3 2/3 innings in the postseason, but allowed no runs and no hits while fanning eight (and notching a pair of saves). In 11 1/3 innings as a pro, the 21-year-old Venezuelan has now allowed no runs and four hits while striking out 21. It's a miniscule sample size, but it's consistent, and it helped Pulaski to its first title since 1991.
Kyle Bartsch, Idaho Falls
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 G, 0 GS, 2 SV, 7 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 13 K)
Like Misell, Bartsch is a reliever, albeit one with a slightly larger track record. The southpaw out of South Alabama made 21 appearances for the Chukars during the regular season, going 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA and three saves. Bartsch appeared four more times in Idaho Falls' six playoff games -- the four that it won -- and was all but untouchable, striking out 13 while allowing three hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings. In Game 3 of the Finals, Bartsch fanned six of the 10 hitters he faced while pitching three scoreless frames to help Idaho Falls to its first championship in 13 years.