I'm not a huge Suguru Egawa fan, but on Sunday night's Super Urugusu he said he felt the Eagles had a chance at making it to the Climax Series in second place. He threw up the following two tables:
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For table 1, Egawa notes that the Eagles are the only team in the top four that don't have more runs scored than runs allowed. And then he says that the reason why the Eagles still managed to win games was because of their top three pitchers: Masahiro Tanaka, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Satoshi Nagai.
For table 2, Egawa says that the Eagles are undergoing a change: the team has scored more than they have allowed in the two most recent months of the year.
But I think the September numbers can be a bit deceiving. Especially if you consider 21 of the 120 runs scored to be from 2 games. Throw in their 9-5 and 10-4 victories against the Chiba Lotte Marines on the 18th and 19th and suddenly the run differential isn't that big of a deal (subtract the totals from those four games and you get 80 RS vs 87 RA).
Let's take a look at some different numbers in the month of September.
...is 15-9 so far this month.
...is 4-2 in 1-run games; 1-0 in 2-run games; and 3-1 in 3-run games.
...scored 10+ runs in three games and 9 runs in two games.
...were shut-out twice.
...starters have a 4.19 ERA while the bullpen has a 5.31 ERA.
...are hitting .282 in the month of September (229-for-812).
...are hitting .287 at home (114-for-397) with 53 RS over 12 games.
...are hitting .277 away (115-for-415) with 67 RS over 12 games.
...offense is averaging 5 runs a game (120 RS in 24 G).
So while the offense has gotten better this month, the quality of pitching has dropped.
That doesn't really instill a whole lot of confidence in me, especially when we start talking about the post-season where good pitching tends to beat out good hitting. But for the time being, the key question is:
If the Eagles pitching doesn't improve, can the offense continue to carry the ball club? If so, for how much longer?