Scott Baker looked like an entirely different pitcher last night (Twins outlast Rays on Young's RBI single). Was it the important match-up with the first place Rays? Was it the challenge of facing the front-runner for the AL Cy Young Award, David Price? Or was it something else?
Throughout his career Scott Baker has put up some impressive numbers against the American League East. He has been dominant at times, such as last night's game. This season alone Baker has been a beast in the American League East. His stats against the AL East in 2010 breaks down like this:
8 Games Started
53 Innings Pitched
17 Earned Runs
Over his career there have been some rough patches against the AL East. The beginning of 2008 Baker had a few tough outings against a division that produced three very good teams that season. Over his career his numbers against the East are better than his overall numbers.
27 Games Started
159 Innings Pitched
68 Earned Runs
In comparison with his 3.84 ERA over his career against the AL East, Baker's overall career ERA is 4.35. The AL East also has a low batting average against Mr. Baker over the span of his career. The AL East has a career batting average of 0.246. Baker's career average that he has allowed is 0.268.
It was great to see Baker have a pitching performance like he did last night. The Twins needed a start like against a very good Tampa Bay team. If the Twins make the playoffs this year they will be playing a team from the AL East. Scott Baker has excelled this season against the East and hopefully that will transfer to the Twins' post-season push. He has been a beast in the east, so bring it on Rays and Yankees.