Quick - which rookie starter, with 20 or more innings of work, has the best ERA in the majors this year? Stephen Strasburg? Not after last night's shellacking by the Marlins. Travis Wood? Close, but no. Jaime Garcia? Wrong. The best ERA belongs to the Diamondbacks' Barry Enright who has quietly posted a 2.64 ERA over his first 47.2 innings in the major-leagues.
And when I say "quietly," I mean that almost no-one outside of Arizona has noticed. No-one, that is except opposing hitters. The Brewers - who managed only three hits in six innings off Enright last night, might know his name. Or the Mets, who could get one run after facing him for eight innings on July 20th. Enright has yet to allow more than three runs in any of his eight starts, and only reached that number once.
Not that I'm claiming Enright is the equal of Strasburg in the long term. He doesn't have all the sexy strikeouts, possessing a K-rate that's more respectable than spectacular, at 5.7 per nine innings pitched. The Arizona rookie has also benefited from a batting average on balls in play that, at .255, is too low to be expected to continue [In contrast, Strasburg's is at .331, well above the league norm].
But the difference in coverage for the two players is startling. A search on SI.com for the word "Strasburg," throws up 1,090 matches; for Enright, just 122. Similar, or even more disparate, numbers can be found on other sports sites - including this one. Maybe the media will pay Barry a bit more attention on Sunday - because his next start is scheduled to be then. In Washington. Against Stephen Strasburg.