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The era before pitch counts...

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  • TexAg
    replied
    I watched this game a couple months ago in amazement:

    RAWLINGS WEST COAST CONFERENCE PITCHER OF THE WEEK
    MARCO GONZALES, SO., LHP, GONZAGA
    Gonzaga sophomore Marco Gonzales is the Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week. The lefty recorded tossed 11 shutout innings, striking out 15 without issuing a walk - but did not factor in the decision at the Bulldogs blanked LMU, 1-0, in 12. At one point in the eighth-10th innings, he struck out six straight batters. Gonzales, the WCC leader in earned run average, threw 139 pitches on the night.
    http://www.wccsports.com/sports/m-ba...043012aaa.html

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  • tg643
    replied
    When I played LL I thought the six inning per week rule was so the best pitchers couldn't pitch every game and dominate. When I was that age I didn't see any reason why I couldn't physically pitch every game. I was throwing every day of the week. I would play pickup ball until it was dark after pitching a LL game.

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  • Roothog66
    replied
    June 14, 1974 Boston v. California

    Nolan Ryan 244 pitches
    Luis Tiant 189 pitches

    If I remember right, he threw 259 pitches either five days before or after in a 12-inning win vs. KC.

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  • brandtb1
    replied
    I would like to think of myself as old school as far as pitch counts, but when I saw the Santana no hitter and the pitch count, I thought that he would be tired and ineffective on his next start. I think the Mets moved the pitchers to give him an extra day rest. Even thought I could care less about the Mets, I would have left him in there with the no hitter going. It is interesting to see pitchers throwing more in their 40's than they use to. Not really making a point, but just sorta thinking out loud here.

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  • CircleChange11
    replied
    Originally posted by jacjacatk View Post
    I just used the cutoff date (more or less) provided in the OP.

    Also, just taking a random glance at some of the names in the "steroids" bucket:

    Maddux - 3 seasons
    Glavine - 2
    Smoltz - 1
    R. Johnson - 4 (just missed 5th with a 96 IP finale)
    K. Rogers - 3
    Moyer - 9
    Hough - 6 (misses 7th because age 40 was 1988)
    Ryan - 4 (misses 5th/6th as 40/41 were in '87/'88)

    Clemens is the only guy I can think of obviously linked to steroids that falls in this group, he has 4 seasons that fit the qualifications.

    There's probably some argument to be made that steroids have indirectly effected the tendency to reign in starting pitcher workloads. Increased offensive levels make working deeper into games harder for everyone, and if RP are getting those extra few mph on their fastball in part from steroids, then the rise of 7th/8th inning guys would contribute as well.
    Good point.

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  • jacjacatk
    replied
    Originally posted by CircleChange11 View Post
    I think you just put some data in the "steroids work" bucket.
    I just used the cutoff date (more or less) provided in the OP.

    Also, just taking a random glance at some of the names in the "steroids" bucket:

    Maddux - 3 seasons
    Glavine - 2
    Smoltz - 1
    R. Johnson - 4 (just missed 5th with a 96 IP finale)
    K. Rogers - 3
    Moyer - 9
    Hough - 6 (misses 7th because age 40 was 1988)
    Ryan - 4 (misses 5th/6th as 40/41 were in '87/'88)

    Clemens is the only guy I can think of obviously linked to steroids that falls in this group, he has 4 seasons that fit the qualifications.

    There's probably some argument to be made that steroids have indirectly effected the tendency to reign in starting pitcher workloads. Increased offensive levels make working deeper into games harder for everyone, and if RP are getting those extra few mph on their fastball in part from steroids, then the rise of 7th/8th inning guys would contribute as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • CircleChange11
    replied
    Originally posted by jacjacatk View Post
    From 1960 to 1980, there were 12 seasons pitched by a SP (started in 60% of appearances) who was 40+ and threw at least 100 IP. From 1991-2011, there were 51.

    From 1901 to 1988 there were 84 such seasons, out of 6817 seasons by any age of pitcher (1.23%). From 1989-2011 there were 57 such seasons out of 2814 (2.03%).
    I think you just put some data in the "steroids work" bucket.

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  • CircleChange11
    replied
    Quality of lineups and batting philosophies have changed as well.

    Watch ESPN classic sometime. Note how many players from the pre-90s are [1] small/thin, [2] linear mechanics, [3] essentially slap hitters.

    As Hersheiser often points out, you can no longer coast through batters 6-9 and save something else for the top of the lineup.

    More batters take pitches and look to work counts.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    I don;t doubt that pitchers could pitch more, but the research of PAP (Pitcher Abuse Points) showed that in high pitch count starts, the pitcher was negatively affected for as many as 3 starts following the high pitch count count.

    So, there is some data-based reasons to not have high pitch counts.

    There's also good data that shows [1] even the best starters do far worse going through the lineup the 3rd and 4th times, and [2] teams would often be better off with a medium reliever than a starter facing the lineup the 3rd and 4th times. Of course you can;t do this continually or you'll be calling up reliever from MiLB all the time.

    The game is no longer "the pitcher's to win or lose". It's the team's game, and bullpens and specialists are a big part of that.

    I prefer the old style of the game, but there's a lot of data that shows that "old style" of the game was not a good managing/usage style.

    Also, it is quite common for an MLB team's 3rd or 4th best reliever to throw in the mid 90s with 2 good pitches. IMO, that wasn't the case way back when.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    When looking at the pitchers of the past we look with selection bias. We point out the guys that threw XXXXX IP and XXX CG and bring up games where the pitchers pitched extra innings and things of that nature. Nobody brings up all of the games where a tiring starter lost the game or brings up names of players whose careers were ended due to arm injuries (we don;t even know who they are).

    The pitchers in the 20s made the pitchers in the 50s look like wimps in terms of endurance.

    I'm not arguing, just discussing. There are a lot of aspects of pitch counts outside of just saying "pitchers pitch less today". The question is why, and there are some good reasons why they do. I think a good data-based discussion can be had to have 4-man staffs rather than 5 to get even more value out of your starters.

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  • leecemark
    replied
    --I only started coaching recently, so pitch/inning rules have a;ways been in effect. I played my youth ball from the late 60s-mid 70s though and there were no pitching restrictions of any kind for kid pitchers then. Most teams used pitchers the same way MLB teams did - they only came out due to ineffectiveness - so if you were pitching well you went the distance. Most of the teams I was on had just 2 main pitchers who would start every other game and often relieve each other if needed. Whatever other kids got to pitch was just in blowouts or maybe spotted up against a weaker team if we had more than 2 games in week.
    --I think the current environment is an improvement. Not just to protect young pitchers arms but to spread the opportunities around. Also if you you have a really good pitchers at younger ages it isn't that much fun or much of a learning experience for the other kids. We've got one pitcher this year who strikes out about 2 of every 3 batters he faces and rarely does anybody get hard contact against him. Everybody else is just standing around in his innings. It isn't much fun for the kids on the other team either - half of them are bailing as soon as he throws.

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  • jacjacatk
    replied
    From 1960 to 1980, there were 12 seasons pitched by a SP (started in 60% of appearances) who was 40+ and threw at least 100 IP. From 1991-2011, there were 51.

    From 1901 to 1988 there were 84 such seasons, out of 6817 seasons by any age of pitcher (1.23%). From 1989-2011 there were 57 such seasons out of 2814 (2.03%).

    Leave a comment:


  • jdfromfla
    replied
    Originally posted by JCincy View Post
    My older brother and my dad used to tell me stories about starting pitchers that would even pitch into extra innings! Wow... in today's world of 'left-handed specialists' and set-up men this seems unthinkable.
    As a kid in Chicago, I used to see Fergusen Jenkins get into some very surreal dog fights with Bob Gibson...1-0 games played out in 100 degree temps (It was always worse at the old Busch Stadium right after they got astro-turf..then it was like 105-110 on the field), I've personally seen both of them go 12 innings in those sorts of decisions...just soaking with sweat in those old hot uni's, I can remember the only time I ever saw them pull Gibson (Seemed to me anyway) was when Mr Bobby Clemente rocketed a liner off of his knee-cap and shattered it. Fergie won 20 for like 8 years in a row and also went down in history as the losing pitcher in the most complete game 1 run losses...It certainly was a very different world.

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  • tg643
    replied
    Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn once pitched sixteen inning complete games against each other. Marichal was 25. Spahn was 42. The Giants won 1-0. Until the era of specialists it was common for pitchers to have 20-25 complete games and throw 250-300 innings on three days rest. Being called a seven inning pitcher was an insult. Now it's all that's asked of a starter.

    I never coached with pitch counts. Only when I coached CR and LL were there innings limits. In 9/10's my pitchers were way under the innings limits. In 11/12's I watched for mechanics failing and body fatigue rather than innings. Starting with 13U travel through 16U we kept pitch counts as we started charting pitchers. But we maintained mechanics and fatigue as the main criteria for removal. Once in showcase ball pitchers only pitch long enough to be seen.

    I was a starting pitcher from LL through high school. I expected to finish every game I started. In high school I sometimes closed games I didn't start.
    Last edited by tg643; 06-07-2012, 11:24 PM.

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  • ipitch
    replied
    Originally posted by JCincy View Post
    My older brother and my dad used to tell me stories about starting pitchers that would even pitch into extra innings! Wow... in today's world of 'left-handed specialists' and set-up men this seems unthinkable.
    It still happens, on rare occasions. Cliff Lee pitched 10 innings in a game this year.

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  • JCincy
    started a topic The era before pitch counts...

    The era before pitch counts...

    I was listening to a local radio show and they had Brian Kenny as a guest from MLB network. The subject of pitch counts came up and how the game has change.

    I believe he said in 1988 pitch count became an official stat. Brian was running some numbers on pitch counts in six year groupings.

    From 2007 to 2012 (partial season) in 32 (+/-) games a pitcher pitched over 130 pitches in a single game. This includes Santana's 134 a few days back.

    From 1998 - 2003 in over 1000 games a pitcher pitched over 130 pitches in a single game.

    It's amazing how much discussion there was around Santana's pitch count and how it became a factor in letting him complete the game.

    My older brother and my dad used to tell me stories about starting pitchers that would even pitch into extra innings! Wow... in today's world of 'left-handed specialists' and set-up men this seems unthinkable.

    I know when I was a kid, that we had inning limits for pitchers, but never a pitch count. Our association just made pitch counts a rule about 2 or 3 years ago.

    Has it changed the way you manage your teams? Did you ever coach in an era without pitch counts? What criteria, if any, did you use to pull a pitcher that still seemed to be doing well in game?

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