With the World Series now tied at two games apiece after Derek Holland‘s near-complete game gem, the Series shifts to a crucial Game Five between the two teams’ nominal aces. While Chris Carpenter has lived up to that name so far in the postseason, especially in his complete game shutout of Philadelphia in the deciding Game Five of the NLDS, Texas’ C.J. Wilson has struggled, to say the least.
Wilson issued six walks in 5.2 innings in the Rangers’ 3-2 Game One loss to St. Louis, which spoiled an otherwise decent start. He has actually thrown a higher percentage of strikes than Carpenter, but Wilson’s alarming walk rate (14 in 21.1 postseason innings) and his six home runs allowed have doomed his ERA and WHIP in the playoffs.
IP Record ERA WHIP Home runs Strike % C. Carpenter 23 3-0 3.52 1.13 2 57.4 C.J. Wilson 21.1 0-3 7.17 1.82 6 60.1
In a ballpark like Texas’, the most hitter- and home run-friendly park this season by a sizeable margin according to ESPN’s Park Factor, Wilson’s inability to keep balls in the yard against a powerful Cardinals offense could doom the Rangers to a second consecutive World Series defeat. With potentially two games coming from Busch Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday, Wilson could be facing the most pressure-packed start of any pitcher this season. His postseason record to date does not look good for Texas’ chances.