The announcers on TV called it a pitching duel last night. The Rangers-Orioles game was a shutout through the sixth inning.
Max Scherzer vs Brandon Woodruff. That’s a pitching duel. Gerrit Cole vs Robby Ray. That’s a pitching duel. Bob Gibson vs Juan Marichal. That’s a pitching duel.
But when two horrible offensive teams like the Rangers and Orioles meet up, it’s not a pitching duel. It’s watching two 90-pound-weakling having a slapping fight duel. It’s two wounded birds fighting over the last worm duel. It’s two kittens fighting over a ball of yarn duel. It’s a sorority pillow fight duel.
Calling it a pitching duel gives way too much credit to the offenses. As if they were freight trains stopped by some incredible force of physics. On the contrary. These are the Little Engines That Couldn’t.
The Rangers have the worst OPS in baseball. The worst on-base percentage. And the second-worst batting average. They have the fourth-fewest hits and fourth-fewest home runs. Pretty much every game the Rangers are involved in the opposing pitcher is throwing a gem.
So, when they play a team as equally inept as themselves, don’t call it a pitching duel. Call it what it is.
Minor league baseball.