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MLB

What Is Dealing, And What Is Not

Walter Johnson grips what looks like a cut fastball in 1925.
Paul Thompson/Getty Images

Hm.

I do not wish to take anything away from the beefy young hurler Alek Manoah, who probably did pitch very well in his first start for the Toronto Blue Jays, in a game that I did not watch yesterday. Two hits across six shutout innings is, indeed, very strong work. But seven Ks in six innings simply is not Dealing. In fact you do not even get to glimpse the Ark of Dealing, much less break the seal and behold the wondrous horrors within, until you have struck out 10 batters, at a minimum.

Under extraordinary circumstances a pitcher may be said to have Dealt if that pitcher struck out nine batters over six innings and then was instantly vaporized by a bolt of lightning and therefore could not continue. Alternatively, you may say that a pitcher is dealing, in real time, if that pitcher strikes out the side in any inning. But even if Manoah did that, all it would mean is that he scattered a frankly pathetic four whiffs over the remaining five innings, work that clearly falls well below the established threshold of Dealing, which, as we have discussed and agreed, requires at minimum whiffing 10 batters or a combination of 9 whivs and one bolt of lightning.

Please amend this tweet to reflect that Alek Manoah was Solid in his first start as a Blue Jay. Thank you and have a pleasant weekend.