I love great pitching performances more than I love great individual displays of hitting. Actually, I don’t even know if that’s true, but let’s just go with it for now.
Actually, let’s don’t. Let’s break it down. Would I rather see Albert Pujols hit a ball 480 feet or Tim Lincecum strike out Pujols with a filthy slider in the dirt? Does Lincecum even have a slider?
The answer is probably Pujols going yard. But I still really, really like pitching. A lot.
The Wingnuts didn’t allow a run today, and in most shutouts you can point to at least an instance of where a pitcher displayed some kind of dominance. You can think of a time when the pitcher made you say, Wow! Or some other exclamation. That pitcher may not have had his absolute best stuff, but he was great in that inning or on that pitch.
That didn’t really happen today for Nick Singleton. Maybe he was dominant on the called strikeout of Brent Krause with two runners on and one out in the fifth inning. Maybe. But other than that, Singleton was just so-so. He allowed a hit in every inning he pitched, he threw a lot of pitches and didn’t have great control. But he pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings. He battled.
So I’m conflicted. If it’s going to be a shutout, I want to see some dominance. Greatness. That’s just my personal preferece. Then again, Singleton didn’t allow a run and was really not even close to being his best today. That says something about the guy’s heart, doesn’t it? That’s what the ace of a pitching staff is supposed to do — grind and battle and get through outings even when he’s not really feeling it.
I have to credit Singleton for that. He was a warrior today and a bulldog and whatever other cliches I haven’t used yet. I just kind of wish he had allowed a run. Then I wouldn’t be calling for dominance and greatness. I’d be saying, Man! He wasn’t even that good today and he still only allowed one run!” It would be a really nice accomplishment. Instead, he has a really nice accomplishment that left something to be desired.
And it left me conflicted.
Up next: St. Paul at Wingnuts, Monday 5/24 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Starting pitchers: St. Paul, RH Todd Mathison (0-0, 9.64 ERA); Wingnuts, RH Adam Cowart (0-0, 4.09)