View From the Center: N.L. West Aces
Welcome to "View From the Center", where our resident pseudo-expert slash Cincinnati Reds fan Jeff Gentil takes a regular rundown of the topics of interest within baseball's divisional landscape. Last week, fabulous freshmen. This week, team aces.
Colorado: The most appalling thing about Ubaldo Jimenez's season is that he actually has one loss. That lies squarely on the rest of the Rockies. When your ERA is 0.78 (7 runs in 80 1/3 innings) and WHIP is 0.90, you really should be undefeated. But Jimenez has a league-leading 10 wins to offset that single loss and at this point of the season is head and shoulders above the rest of the National League in the Cy Young race.
Arizona: Dan Haren hasn't gotten off to a great start, but on a team that is struggling for wins, he leads with five. And although Ian Kennedy's ERA is lower than Haren's 4.83, Haren leads the D-Backs in innings with 82 and strikeouts with 83 and has the team's only complete game.
Los Angeles: Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw have been equally good this season. Billingsley has more wins (6) and less losses (2), but Kershaw's 2.95 ERA is lower and he has more strikeouts. Their WHIPs are nearly identical: 1.32 for Billingsley and 1.33 for Kershaw. This battle is basically a coin flip - tough choice for Joe Torre, indeed.
San Diego: Jon Garland continues to rehab his career with a good start to the 2010 season. Although he has thrown just 67 innings in his 11 starts, Garland has managed a 6-2 record with a strong 2.15 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. He is one of the reasons the Padres have been a surprise this year.
San Francisco: Despite Matt Cain's lower ERA (2.50) and Barry Zito's higher win total (6), undoubtedly the Giants' ace continues to be two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum. His ERA may be an un-Timmy-like 3.14, but his WHIP (1.19), strikeouts (83), and presence on the mound are exactly what batters have come to know and fear in his relatively short career.