Lieber rising to the challenge

Originally Published: September 20, 2005
By Gary Gillette | ESPN Insider
While very few baseball fans now recognize the title ("Pitching in a Pinch") of Christy Mathewson's classic book on pitching, they do understand that pitching for a contender in the midst of a pennant race is a truly demanding task. Each season, a small group of pitchers step forward during the pressure-packed games of September. Some are established stars who are handsomely paid to shoulder the load; others are young pitchers or struggling veterans trying to show they can perform with the best.

Here are five pitchers who have surprised a lot of people by helping carry their clubs this month. (Statistics are through games of Sept. 19.)

Gary Gillette | email MLB insider contributor
Gary Gillette, a contributor to MLB Insider on, is the editor of the 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia, which was published in March by Sterling. Gary can be reached via e-mail at