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Old 05-14-2013, 05:10 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,269,803 times
Reputation: 36087


Because no scout will pay any attention to them if they don't hit a certain number on the radar gun, and those who are scouted and drafted and signed are therefore hard-throwing fast-ballers, and nobody can throw 60,000 96-mph fastballs in a lifetime.

3.5 pitches per batter, 40 batters per game, 30 starts a year, 15 year career. Do the math.

Walter Johnson was a freak of nature, there were a thousand other pitchers in his era, who maybe threw a hundred fast balls a game, and those rarely near 90, and that includes practically all the HoFers of the era. They were 5'10", weighed 165, and started 30+ games a season and finished half of them, and relieved on days they didn't start. (

Warren Spahn finished 54 games that he didn't start, during the 17 straight years he started 30 or more. 6'0", 172#. Today would be the smallest man on most MLB pitching staffs.

Last edited by jtur88; 05-14-2013 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:10 PM
1,218 posts, read 2,116,017 times
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A quick Wikipedia search on "pitch count" notes that they did not keep "pitch count" stats until the past 15-25 years. Kinda strange given the stats-driven nature of baseball. But even looking at this chart, a pitch count > 125 is becoming very rare, even going back to the 1990s. I would love to see the stats going back to the 60s-80s. Regardless, this seems to say pitchers are definitely pitching less than they did in the past. Is it because they pitch harder? Or is it baseball strategy (i.e. closers, set-up men)? Or do pitchers want to preserve their arm to prolong their career (money has never been this good in professional sports)? I'm inclined to think its the latter two but mostly strategy.

Season PIT>125
2011 40
2010 24
2009 26
2008 19
2007 14
2006 26
2005 31
2004 46
2003 70
2002 69
2001 74
2000 160
1999 179
1998 212
1997 141
1996 195

Last edited by johnathanc; 05-14-2013 at 10:05 PM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:29 PM
Location: Florida
251 posts, read 376,353 times
Reputation: 259
Originally Posted by johnathanc View Post
Or do pitchers want to preserve their arm to prolong their career (money has never been this good in professional sports)?
Pitchers don't tend to take themselves out of games.

Originally Posted by jmgg View Post
Walter Johnson was back in the stone age of baseball when everything you did was self taught. What I'm comparing with is what I know. This being baseball from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and into the 21st century.

You can call me what you want. I doubt very much that you've experienced baseball in depth through this period as much as i have. Incidentally, during all my playing years, I was a catcher.

As far as the pitchers in the early 20th century, I'll guarantee you they threw faster than 60 to 70 mph. My god, I never caught junker who couldn't throw their fastball at least that hard. Do you really think these raw-boned tough as nails guys from back in those days couldn't throw harder than that?

Not for 350 innings per year, no. Nor do I think players who didn't train like modern players do could ever, EVER be as strong as them. There are middle relievers today throwing 98mph. I don't care how old you are, you never saw a single ace from the 30's on back throw that hard even once. Walter Johnson was one of the greats but he doesn't represent his era at all. He was the exception.

Tough as nails? Again, there are players today stronger than Babe Ruth and tougher than Ty Cobb who are 8th inning set-up men. Don't talk to me about tough.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:39 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,039 posts, read 2,322,753 times
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Originally Posted by johnathanc View Post
I love the game, depite its floundering popularity, but I don't understand why modern pitchers just don't pitch enough. I'm talking about Innings pitched (IP)and Complete games (CG) here. Nowadays, one can lead the league in pitching with 230 IP and 4 CG. Good stats but hardly impressive compared to 20 years ago when a top pitcher can log closer to 300 IP and 10+ CG. In the 70s-80s, 300+ IP and 20+ CG were the norm for the top pitchers.

I don't get it...modern day pitchers should be stronger and better conditioned. And its not like pitchers from prior decades had shorter careers than modern day pitchers either. Are we just in funk terms of having great pitchers or has the hitting just got that much better?
Because your talking about pitching yet not quantifying using a pitching statistic. IP and CG are a statistic that is pretty meaningless for your argument. The only true way to make your argument is pitches thrown per game (and I'd go further to evaluate how many days, on average, between games).

I'm not saying your argument is incorrect, I'm just saying that you can't make the argument without comparing apples to apples.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:48 PM
Location: NY
9,072 posts, read 15,041,236 times
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There are some stats showing pitches per game are rising. The average number of pitches thrown per game is rising Baseball-Reference Blog Blog Archive I am not sure this is complete or conclusive, but seems to make some sense.
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:00 PM
2,349 posts, read 4,475,667 times
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Slow-Motion GIF of a Pitcher's Elbow - Business Insider
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:40 PM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,975 posts, read 18,573,926 times
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Is it a question of modern starters not being able to pitch more innings, or a question of modern starters not being able to pitch as effectively as fresh arms out of the pen in the late innings?

Things were a great deal simpler in the earlier days. The four best pitchers were the starters and everyone else was in the pen. It made sense to keep the starters in for as long as possible because the replacements, even rested, were not as good as the guys that were out there.

Now in the era of specialized relievers, guys who come up through the minors being groomed from the get go to be hard throwing, short work specialists, the replacements are better than the fatigued starters.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:30 AM
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,180,643 times
Reputation: 2731
This is one reason why I've totally lost interest in baseball. The sport resembles nothing that it did in the 80's or 90's.

-The game seems like it's gotten far too micro managed. Perhaps because of the money involved. In the "old days", 20 years ago, it seems like managers would just let players play. The SS or 2nd baseman was weak. Outfielders were generally the power hitters and could throw.

You had pitchers that rivaled the greats from 40 or 50 years ago. Does anyone remember how popular Nolan Ryan was? I remember his no hitters, 5,000 plus strikeouts. How does he pitch into his 40's, while todays young guys can hardly throw 100 pitches a game?? It doesn't really make sense.

Guys like Bert Blyleven, Don Sutton, etc all seem to have vanished.

-It seems like 20 years ago, you had pitching staffs that complimented each other. I.e. the early 90's braves. Tom Glavine, Maddox, Smoltz? Plus Steve Avery. They didn't need specialized closers to win.
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