Everyone who reads this site knows that I like Mike Wilner. He and I share a lot of (commonly-held) opinions on baseball and this team, I deduce from our respective writings and dealings on the game.
Jesse Litsch is the place Wilner I diverge. I will gladly admit that Jesse Litsch exceeded my wildest expectations this year, posting numbers I didn't know he had in him. He's better than I thought - full credit to him for pitching consistent to his role at the back of the rotation.
It is rather odd, to me at least, that respected Blue Jays analyst Mike Wilner makes with the hard sell on Jesse Litsch so often. Take this passage from last night's blog post:
It was another good, solid outing from Jesse Litsch, holding the Red Sox to a run on four hits with one walk through the first five before giving up solo shots to Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz in the 6th.If Litsch pitched well — and he did, against a tough lineup getting hot all over — then let it be that. Don't frame it as though the two long home runs allowed don't count. They do. They don't diminish what he did (limit base runners and throw strikes); they certainly count all the same.
Again: every time Jesse Litsch takes the mound, I feel like the he gives the team a chance to win. As fifth starters go, you could do much worse. I applaud his effort and well-deserved health in 2011.
Despite my perceived bias, I am able to let his success stand on its own merit without people bashing me over the head and insisting I acknowledge some grave error in underestimating his ability.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Michelle Budziak