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If the 2010 baseball season needed a tagline, it would almost certainly be "Year of the Pitcher." The league-wide batting average was the lowest in 18 years, there were a whopping five no-hitters or perfect games (actually six), and Felix Hernandez had a season that was so statistically sublime it transcended wins and losses and may lead to an American League Cy Young Award.
The theme has only been amplified in the postseason, where two otherworldly performances and a series of complete game gems have left sportswriters falling over themselves to declare October 2010 the moment when good pitching retook its rightful place at the center of postseason baseball. First, Philadelphia's Roy Halladay made his long-awaited postseason debut and promptly tossed the second no-hitter in 107 years of playoff baseball. Before the baseball cognoscenti had caught their breath, the Giants' Tim Lincecum threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout that statisticians somehow determined was statistically better than Halladay's no-hitter.
The media and fans are right to go gaga over the back-to-back masterpieces, which were augmented by complete-game gems from Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in the first round of the playoffs. The mistake, however, is claiming that this postseason is somehow different than the 104 that preceded it, or even the 20 that preceded it. Because steroids or no steroids, the postseason has always been about great pitching. Without fail.