A Challenge

How does Damian Moss do it? For a guy that has allowed 62 baserunners in 42 innings, how does he have a 5-2 record with a 2.44 ERA get by with it? Andrew would like to know.

Readers (especially those of you whose last name is not Bare), I have an announcement. And pay close attention, because it's not something I admit to very often.

I am stumped.

Damian Moss has me befuddled, bamboozled, dazed, confused, insert your favorite adjective here. The former Brave, traded to San Francisco in the Russ Ortiz deal, is having a phenomenal season. He's 4-1 with a miniscule 2.41 ERA.

He's doing all of this while walking 5.1 batters per nine innings. His K/BB ratio is a supposedly untenable 26/24. (For those of us who aren't math-friendly, that equals 1.08.) He has allowed 62 base runners in 42 2/3 innings, which gives us a WHIP of 1.45. All other pitchers with a WHIP between 1.41 and 1.54 have ERAs over 4, save Kaz Ishii, who pitches in an extreme pitchers park, and Tim Redding.

So, what's going on? Is his stuff just so electric that he's absolutely unhittable, if wild? I'm not inclined to come to that conclusion. His strikeout rate is a decidedly unimpressive 5.6/9IP. He's allowing 8.1 hits per nine; a good ratio, but certainly not indicative of excellent stuff. From a non-statistical standpoint, I found myself decidedly unimpressed by Damian's stuff in 2002. He had an above average changeup and a decent curve, but neither were really "plus-plus" pitches. His fastball was only in the high 80s, and he obviously doesn't do a good job of locating it.

But I'm not a scout. And Moss continues to flourish despite breaking almost every common-sense and sabrmetric rule of pitching. My question is: How?

And for possible answers to that question, I turn to you. I've run out of rationales for Moss' continued excellent work. Maybe you have not. So I am soliciting explanations for the good work of Damian Moss, be they serious or of the humorous nature. If you think you can explain, drop me an email at AndrewBare29@hotmail.com The best responses will be printed in a column to be written some time in the not too distant future.

Think you've noticed something deceptive in his delivery? Disagree with my assessment of Moss' stuff? I'd love to hear about it. The email address, once again, is AndrewBare29@hotmail.com