The accepted assumptions are that all pitchers must be a certain height, and that all starters have the same pitching and tackle limitations. Additionally, the definitions of an accepted number of pitches per inning and a “quality start” are metrics used throughout the Game, without confirming evidence of their validity.
Yes, today’s athletes are bigger, stronger and faster, but the beauty of baseball is that none of that matters if a player shows by his performance on the field that he can compete with the best and be the best. There are players of all shapes and sizes, and they prove their worth by doing what they are paid to do; pitchers taking out batters. Please note that the listed heights of the players are as reliable as a birth certificate from the Dominican Republic. Also, the six inches between your ears is often more important than your physical height.
Who decided that 100 pitches should be the limit, each game, for starting pitchers and the total innings, each year, for young pitchers should also be capped to extend their careers? Why have these limitations been so widely accepted without empirical evidence that they really work? Today, why is throwing a baseball perceived to be the only activity in any sport that is expected to improve by doing less? Command the scouts to find the perfect pitcher prototypes, then restrict their ability to improve muscle memory, stamina, and learn their trade, by not pitching. Who thought that, Mork or ET?
A 100 pitch limit is not a rule, not based on fact; instead, it is an absurd assumption. Also, a limited pitch count translates into an assumption that “fewer innings are better.” Some pitchers are well done with 60 pitches; others are just warming up to 100. We’re talking about individuals with many different levels of skill and stamina. Setting an arbitrary number to cover all pitchers in all situations defies logic. Are warm-up pitches before each inning considered, or pick-off pitches, or pitch-outs, or intentional walks, or the intensity of the game situation, or the type of pitches being thrown, fastballs , curves, sliders, knuckleballs? , etc.? What about “waste” pitches that are called by a catcher when a batter has two strikes, standing up and putting his glove over his head for a target? (I hate that) If the batter is expected to swing at that pitch, he tells you what the catcher thinks of his plate discipline. If he doesn’t swing, then it’s just a pointless pitch that brings the pitcher closer to the dreaded 100. Overhand pitch, okay, overhand shot, no. Why should a pitcher on a pitch waste pitches? Tone purpose, yes. Waste court, no. What is the proper combination that should allow a pitcher to exceed the prohibited limit, or is there such a thing? No, there is no proper mix. Managers will even take out starting pitchers before starting another inning if there is only the potential threat of going to 100 in that inning. A pitcher’s ERA, or lack thereof, should tell the manager everything he needs to know to let him continue or take him out of a game. Being able to count to 100 should not be the criteria for throwing decisions.
To strengthen the 100-pitch limit, baseball has also adopted 15 as the number of pitches that is the acceptable goal for starting pitchers to reach each inning. It follows from this that after six innings of 15 pitches a pitcher reaches 90 pitches and to pitch in the seventh inning would possibly reach 100, requiring a relief pitcher to enter the game. Since the current practice is that relief pitchers should be allowed to start each inning with no runners on base, the only practical solution is for the starting pitcher to be removed from the game and a relief pitcher inserted. This is a very neat formula that results in a “quality start” of six innings after having allowed three earned runs, or less. The convenient result is that if the manager relieves the starter, he’s happy, because six innings is all that’s expected of him, the relief pitcher starts the next inning with no one on base, so he’s happy, and whatever happens , the manager can. t be blamed, for following the accepted script, for which he is happy. Win or lose.
There are now 74 pitchers in the Hall of Fame, six of whom were inducted as relievers, leaving 68 starters. Of those starting pitchers, 42 had more Complete Games than win! There are plenty of other pitchers who had more CGs than Wins that aren’t in the Hall. Even including relievers and recent members, Hall’s average is still 253 wins, 259 CGs and a 2.98 ERA. Those stats won’t last much longer, but they do illustrate the tremendous difference in what is now expected of a starting pitcher.
Those lower expectations for pitches and innings have resulted in the definition of a “quality start” as mentioned above. Brutal! That definition results in a 4.50 ERA for a nine-inning game, when the average number of runs currently scored per game is less. Any starting pitcher with a 4.50 ERA will have a hard time producing a winning record and staying in the rotation of a rarely quality team. Also, aren’t minor league games six innings?
In the 1971 book, this great game, Orioles manager Earl Weaver said of their starting pitchers that, “before the season starts, they’ve gotten their arms and legs strong to the point where any one of them will be able to throw 100 to 160 pitches a game from the start.” opening”. game on.” Wow, up to 160 pitches on opening day. He also said, “I try to find four guys who can give the club 250 to 300 innings a season. My pitchers like to pitch every four days. That’s what they’re trained and conditioned for. They’re not happy at any other time and I don’t pitch as well if I’m trying to elude good opposition.” Wow, again, up to 300 tickets on three days off.
To further illustrate the huge difference between then and now, the 1954 Cleveland Indians won the 8-team American League pennant with 111 wins. Their starting pitchers had 77 CGs in a 154-game schedule, (50%) with an MLB-best-team ERA of 2.78 and no DH. The league had 463 CG. Compare that to the AL in 2016, with 15 teams and a 162-game schedule, which had a total of 44 CGs, with the DH. The team’s best ERA was 3.78. Despite all the protests to the contrary, today’s pitching is no better.
The bigger question is how did all those starters, back in the day, with all that CG manage to pitch all those ninth innings, without needing a closer, after throwing all those pitches, game after game, after game, on three days rest? . , and no DH in sight? Magic?