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Friday, September 2



Roger Clemens is having one heck of a year for the Houston Astros. The former Longhorn ace has shut down major league hitters, compiling a miniscule 1.57 ERA. But the 42 year old Clemens hasn’t even been the best former Texas pitcher in the majors this year—that honor goes to Oakland A’s closer Huston Street, just 23 years old, whose ERA sits at a paltry 1.23! (Okay, realistically, Clemens has done his business in a hitters’ haven and he’s pitched 118 more innings, which makes him a hell of a lot more valuable, but still...) You should remember Street from the 2002 national championship baseball team when he garnered Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament. Now Street is dominating major league hitters and has entrenched himself as Oakland’s best relief pitcher. In fact, Street is doing his best impression of the game’s elite closer, Mariano Rivera, who is having a ridiculously good season himself.

Comparing their numbers, the two have virtually identical statistics. In 63 innings, Rivera has posted a 1.421 ERA and .805 WHIP (Walks+Hits per inning pitched), with a 68/11 K/BB ratio.
Street’s line: 67 innings, 1.234 ERA, .944 WHIP, 63/23 K/BB ratio. Rivera is getting all the attention because of his 35-18 advantage in saves, but make no mistake about it—that’s simply a matter of opportunity. Street didn’t become Oakland’s closer until the middle of the season. He’s been just as good as Rivera and has my vote for AL Rookie of the Year.

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