Last night Clay Buchholz didn't just make MLB history, he made baseball history. What he did has never been done since Abner Doubleday & Alexander Cartwright began throwing rocks at anyone holding a stick until finally one of those people swung their stick and connected with the rock and then began running around in a diamond-shaped path in celebration whilst Abner & Alex kept score. Last night he became the first pitcher in the history of organized baseball to follow up a no-hitter with a relief appearance wherein he threw 3 innings of scoreless one hit ball and the only hit given up was to the first batter he faced. First time EVER. We're talking little league, whiffle ball, slo-pitch AND fast-pitch softball, chinese kickball.... you fucking name it. You can stuff that fact in your sack, Elias Sports Bureau.
Be this accomplishment as it may, what I'm really getting at here is that these stupid stats that people come up with to further amplify just how good some of these young players are performing are ridiculous. Joba's "second most innings to start a career giving up no runs and striking out one batter per outing" stat is worthless. What the fuck does that mean? And why is it important? It doesn't provide us with a frame of reference because we've never heard of that stat before. This is not a streak we know about so it can't resonate with us. He's not assaulting Orel's scoreless streak or Gagne's consecutive save streak or Bobby Jenk's 41 consecutive batters streak. If we can't understand why it's an amazing stat (and I would argue it's not an amazing stat at all because the "strikeout per outing" portion of it is fucking pointless), then it's just useless fluff to give people something to talk about rather than to try and provide historical perspective. Can't we just be happy with the fact that Joba Chamberlain is fucking DICK NASTY! He's been the best pitcher for the Yanks over the last 3 weeks and if he can get himself into starting pitching shape for next year, he would add immeasurably to the Yanks prospects for '08 (personally, I'd kick Mo to the curb and insert Joba into the closers role at $365K rather than pay Mo $12-15 mil to slowly deteriorate over the next two years. Loyalty be damned). That should be good enough. I don't need a useless stat to know that Joba Chamberlain is a dangerous (and frightening for a Sox fan) weapon in the same way I don't need a stat to tell me that Clay Buchholz's 3 innings of one hit ball was invaluable for the confidence of a taxed bullpen and that he may be a critical cog in the postseason bullpen as a strong-armed long man that can keep the Sox in the game if a starter gives up 4 runs in the first 3 innings.