MLB pitching decisions are based on assumptions and definitions – headlines
The accepted assumptions are that all pitchers must have a certain height, and that all starters have the same throwing and inning limitations. Additionally, the definitions of an accepted number of pitches per inning and a “quality start” are metrics that are used throughout the Game, with no evidence of their validity being confirmed.
Yes, today’s athletes are bigger, stronger and faster, but the beauty of baseball is that none of that matters if a player shows with his performance on the field that he can compete with the best and be the best. Players come in all shapes and sizes, and they prove themselves 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 Dominican Republic birth certificate. Also, the six inches between your ears are often more important than your physical height.
Who decided that 100 pitches should be the limit, each game, for starting pitchers, and total innings, each year, for young pitchers should also be limited to extend their careers? Why have these limitations been so widely accepted without empirical evidence that they actually work? Today, why is throwing a baseball perceived to be the only activity in any sport that is expected to improve by doing less? Order the scouts to find the perfect pitching prototypes, and then restrict their ability to improve muscle memory, endurance, and learn their craft, by not pitching. Who thought that, Mork or ET?
A limit of 100 pitches is not a rule, it is not based on facts; instead, it is an absurd assumption. Also, a limited pitch count translates into an assumption that “fewer innings is better.” Some pitchers are well done with 60 pitches; others are simply warming up to 100. We are talking about individuals with many different levels of ability and stamina. Setting an arbitrary number to cover all pitchers in all situations defies all logic. Are the warm-up pitches before each inning a consideration, or are pick-off shots, or pitches, or intentional walks, or the intensity of the game situation, or the type of pitches being thrown, fastballs, curves? , sliders, knuckle balls? , etc.? What about the “wasted” pitches that are called by a catcher when a hitter has two strikes, standing up and putting his glove over his head for one goal? (I hate that) If the batter is expected to swing on that pitch, it tells you what the catcher thinks of his discipline at the plate. If he doesn’t swing, then it’s just a purposeless pitch that brings the pitcher closer to the dreaded 100. Throwing over the hands, well, over the head, no. Why should a pitcher on a pitch count waste pitches? Purpose launch, yes. Waste tone, no. What is the proper combination that should allow a pitcher to exceed the prescribed limit, or is there such a thing? No, there is no suitable combination. Managers will even eliminate starting pitchers before starting another inning if there is only the potential threat of hitting 100 in that inning. A pitcher’s effectiveness, or lack thereof, should tell the manager everything he needs to know about letting him continue or taking him out of a game. Being able to count to 100 shouldn’t be the criteria for pitching 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 hit each inning. It then follows that after six innings of 15 pitches, a pitcher hits 90 pitches and to pitch in the seventh inning would possibly hit 100, requiring a relief pitcher to enter the game. Since 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” in six innings having allowed three earned runs, or less. The convenient result is that if the manager relieves the starter, he is happy, because six innings is all that is expected of him, the reliever starts the next inning with no one on base, so he is happy, and whatever happens, the manager can. ” Don’t blame him for following the accepted script, so he’s 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 many other pitchers that had more CG than Victories that are not in the Hall. Even including new recruits and relievers, Hall’s average is still 253 Wins, 259 CGs and a 2.98 ERA. Those stats won’t last much longer, but they 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 lower. Any starting pitcher with a 4.50 ERA will struggle to produce a winning record and stay in a team’s rotation, hardly quality. Also, aren’t Little League games six innings?
In the 1971 book, This great gameOrioles manager Earl Weaver said of their starting pitchers that, “Before the season starts, they’ve developed their arms and legs to a point where either of them can throw 100 to 160 pitches per game. from the opening game in “. Wow, up to 160 launches on opening day. He also said: “I try to find four men who can give the club 250 to 300 innings per season. My pitchers like to pitch every four days. That is what they like and it conditions them. They are not happy with any other path. and not throwing as well if I try to dodge good opposition. ” Wow, again, up to 300 tickets with three days off.
To further illustrate the enormous difference between then and now, the 1954 Cleveland Indians won the American League’s 8-team pennant with 111 victories. His starting pitchers had 77 CGs in a 154-game schedule, (50%) with an MLB best team ERA of 2.78 and no designated hitters. The league had 463 CGs. Compare that to the American League in 2016, with 15 teams and a 162-game schedule, which had a grand total of 44 CGs, with the designated. 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 all those starters, back in the day, with all those CGs managed to throw all those 9 innings, without needing a closer, after throwing all those pitches game, after game, after game, with three days off. . and no DH in sight? Magic?