The main writer-researcher for the crease-free “The Tim McCarver Show” dumped me on FB for slagging McCarver. To this I say, SLAG ON!
“It’s always mentioned, with Bob Gibson and Luis Tiant and the rest,” McCarver said this week, speaking of the Cardinals’ and Indians’ all-time great pitchers who had 1.12 and 1.60 ERAs, respectively, that season. “But I think pitching has been as dominant this year as in 1968.”
That is an extreme statement for someone who was closer to the game than most in pitching’s greatest season, catching most of Gibson’s 34 starts, 28 of them complete games, 13 of those shutouts.
“What a story pitching has been in baseball,” McCarver said of this season. “It’s as dominant now as it was then.”
...“I think when you have starting pitching like [the Mets] have had, it becomes competitive after a while,” he said. “We had a competitive situation with the Cardinals. Everybody saw how Gibson performed and they didn’t want to give up a run, either. We had 31 shutouts that year, second all-time from a team standpoint. That’s a type of contagious component.”
Matched with the Yankees’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position this season and the size of Citi Field possibly limiting their home-run power, McCarver seems to be expecting a game echoing a time with faded colors.
“I’ve been around the game a long time,” he said, “and it seems to me at some point in time you have to start giving pitchers credit.”