In the history of baseball, there have been some classic pitching match ups for the ages.
Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax faced off May 25, 1961, in an epic nine-inning pitching duel that the Dodgers ace won 1-0. In the loss, Gibson’s ERA dropped to 1.69.
In 1963, Giants future Hall of Famer Juan Marichal beat Braves future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn 1-0 in a sixteen inning game. Both starters went the distance: Marichal sixteen innings, Spahn 15.1.
And perhaps the greatest pitching duel of all time. May 2, 1917. Reds versus Cubs. Fred Toney versus Hippo Vaughn. Both pitchers threw nine innings of no-hit baseball in what has been called the Double No-Hitter. The Reds finally got a hit and a run in the top of the tenth off Vaughn. Toney finished with a ten-inning no-hitter.
Then, on the other end of the spectrum, as far away from Cooperstown as Perth, Australia (which according to anitpodr.com is the city closest to the exact other side of the word from Cooperstown, by the way) is tonight’s match up between Kyle Lohse and Tim Lincecum.
A 10.80 ERA versus a 6.85 ERA.
Like that great Toney-Vaughn ten-inning dual no-hit duel, this one is expected to be a no-hit duel for at least ten pitches.
Sorry, but if Kyle Lohse is the best pitcher the Rangers can scrape up tonight, if in their entire farm system they have not developed and cannot find a pitcher better than Kyle Lohse, the Rangers are in trouble.
If this is, indeed, their year, they are going to have to slice off a huge chunk of the offensive talent they have for pitching talent they do not have.
In their free fall, the Rangers have lost twelve of sixteen games. And in those twelve losses, seven came when, like last night, they scored at least five runs.
All signs point to that being eight of thirteen tonight.
Kyle Lohse (0-1, 10.80) vs. Tim Lincecum (1-3 , 6.85)
Game time: 9:05 pm