Saturday, May 12, 2007

Penny, One of Five (Turned) Up has nice commendations for Dodger pitcher Brad Penny (who is turning in a great performance tonight as we speak, 6.1 IP with 1 ER in the first, though he leaves the game with two men on). As one of the "ups" in a "five up, five down" article:

I. '03 World Series heroes: During the Marlins stunning World Series upset of the Yankees back in 2003, a pair of youthful hurlers -- Brad Penny and Josh Beckett -- led the way for the Fish. At the tender age of 25, Penny prevailed in Games 1 and 5, posting a 2.19 ERA. And a 23-year-old Beckett earned series MVP honors after tossing a complete-game shutout in definitive Game 6 (pitching on just three days rest).

In the ensuing years, Florida traded Penny and Beckett to big-payroll organizations (Los Angeles and Boston, respectively), and both pitchers embarked on roller-coaster rides defined by injuries and inconsistency.

Through their first seven starts of this season, though, both pitchers are throwing like it's October 2003 all over again. Penny leads the bigs in ERA (1.39), while Beckett boasts baseball's highest number of wins (seven). At this point, both are frontrunners for their leagues' respective Cy Young Award.

Article goes on to warn Penny fans of his second-half performance last year. True, but we're enjoying watching Penny in fine form again here in the first half of 2007.