The St. Louis Cardinals pulled off a remarkable second-half comeback to make the postseason, and, in the process, saw right-handers Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson blossom into an elite one-two pitching punch.
Last season Flaherty was one of the best young starting pitchers in Major League Baseball, recording a 3.34 ERA and holding opponents to a .199 batting average over 28 starts. This season has been a continuation of his 2018 success and then some.
In 32 starts, Flaherty has recorded a 2.85 ERA and 0.99 WHIP — which is fifth in MLB — while totaling 225 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .195 batting average. He’s overpowering hitters with his four seamer, deceiving hitters with his slider, and coming up clutch against potent foes.
Flaherty has arguably been the best starting pitcher in the sport the last 10 weeks. In the 15 starts he has made since July 2, Flaherty has recorded an astonishing 1.00 ERA, totaled 124 strikeouts, held opponents to a .142 batting average, and averaged roughly 6.2 innings per start. His second-half dominance could potentially put him in line to be a finalist for the National League Cy Young Award.
Last season Hudson came out of the…