Until now, the answer has always been a resounding yes. Last years World Series champions mirrored our Angels of today very much with a rock solid pitching staff, excellent defense, but very little offensive punch. Our 2002 Angels triumphed over baseball with its lights out bullpen. So why is it seem like pitching is becoming obsolete?
First, Tampa Bays pitching comes as highly touted as they come. Coming in at 8th in the league in ERA, 5 ranks ahead of #13 Texas, Tampa pitching should have triumphed over Texas' thundering bats. Who coincidently rank 1st in BA. Instead Tampa Bay was trampled by Texas' sticks. After a surprising 9-0 shutout, the Rays were held for 8 runs. One game later, 4 runs, and once again 4 runs. Averaging 4 runs allowed per game isnt a whole lot, but in the regular season would drop Tampa all the way to the 17th spot, .1 run more, they would be tied for 19th. Especially from the arms of Tampa, this isnt unexpected result. Meanwhile, #13 Texas allowed 9,6,3,3 respectively for a total of 21 runs allowed. Throw out the CJ WIlson Implosion of game one and that number drops to 12. Spread out those numbers across 4 games and the Runs allowed per game run to a little over 5 (Would be last in all of baseball RS) and 3(1st). Although allowing over a full run more per game, Texas still won 3-1. According to baseball Philosophy, this should account to a series loss. It didnt. Unfortunately, the Rays were eliminated even though they thoroughly outpitched the Rangers.
Second comes the New York- Detroit series. Both teams are more offensively geared than pitching. Regardless, New York held a 6 rank advantage over Detroit in the regular season (11 compared 17) Offensively though, Detroit lead by 4 ranks, (3 compared to 7). Pitching again lost to offense in the series. The first game ended with a 9-3 Yankees lead, the two following games were Detroit victories (5-4, 5-3) then 10-1 NY, and finally 3-2. NY allowed a total of 17 runs over 5 games while Detroit allowed 28. Calculate those out and it comes out 3.40 run average for New York and a 5.60 for Detroit. In the regular season, Detroit would rank far last in all of baseball with that while New York would rank 9th, just behind our friend in Tampa. Now this run differential is even vaster than the one in the other ALDS, with a full 2.2 runs separating the teams. Again, the team that put up worse pitching numbers came out on top.
Between Philadelphia and St. Louis, trends continue. Philly ranked 1st among all teams in baseball! The hands down post-season favorites thanks to the dreaded "Big Four." St. Louis on the flipside, ranks 12th. With the scores going as follows: 11-6 P, 5-4 S, 3-2 P, 5-3 S, 1-0 S. With the totals adding up to: 21 Runs allowed St. Louis, 19 runs allowed for Philly. Over five games, that equates to 4.20(21st) run average allowed for St. Louis and a 3.80(14th) for Philly. The run differences here are much less, but still read the same story.
The Milwaukee- Arizona is the only series that follows the Pitching always wins consensus, but the other three series certainly dont agree. We are also not that fa away from the 2009 Angels team that dominated baseball with the bats (1st) but faltered on the mound(20) and beat the #14 Red Sox. So to ask again, does pitching still win in the post season? The 2011 ALDS's beg to differ.