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Old 05-07-2013, 03:47 PM
 
1,218 posts, read 2,115,369 times
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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?
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines
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One former Hall of Very Good pitcher said, in todays game, you have to work harder to get the 7,8, and 9th guys out. Prior to the 1990's, the SS, 2B, and C positions historically offered a lot of weak hitting that didnt require much effoert to get them out. I swear in the 80's every shortstop seemed liked they were hitting 220 with 5 hrs
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Phila Pa
2,757 posts, read 1,949,656 times
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Quote:
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?
Do not judge the strength of a pitcher based on innings pitched. 30 years ago there were only a hand-full of guys that could throw 90mph. Today most guys drafted out of HS or College are doing that. That is the simplest answer as to why today's pitchers are on a pitch count.
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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They ate more Wheaties in the old days.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,176 posts, read 4,639,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzy jeff View Post
Do not judge the strength of a pitcher based on innings pitched. 30 years ago there were only a hand-full of guys that could throw 90mph. Today most guys drafted out of HS or College are doing that. That is the simplest answer as to why today's pitchers are on a pitch count.
Sorry, this is very incorrect. They threw just as much heat 30+ years ago as they do now. Keep in mind, 30 40 & 50 years ago almost without exception, the very best athletes played major league baseball. It wasn't until the 1970's that this changed. Nowadays I'm in agreement with most that most of the best athletes are playing pro football or basketball. That leaves a bunch of real studs playing something other than baseball, that probably would be in the majors in years past.

The big difference in pitching now versus decades ago is the command today's pitchers have of their pitches. In the old days you could get away with a good fastball and a decent curveball and make it in the bigs. Not so today where almost all pitchers have to have 3 or more different pitches to mix up and keep the batters off balance (exceptions being Rivera and Dickey). If a pitcher throws in the upper 90's with nothing else he might get by as a closer somewhat, but never as a starter as today's hitters will jump all over this facing him the 2nd time around without something else thrown at them that keeps them guessing.

What they do today as to the pitch count is simply a difference in the philosophy among coaches, managers, and the other "experts". Frankly, I agree with it. After 100+ pitches, some exhaustion is setting in AND the hitters may be starting to get you figured out.

I do agree that in years past, the SS and 2B players were not expected to produce like they are today. The catcher position was in this catagory too depending on the team. Some teams would forfeit the offense for a good defensive catcher while others expected their catchers to produce offensively or they were gone.

This is what's great about baseball. It's a huge chess game.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,259,760 times
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Because they have to strike out twice as many batters as they did in the old days.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge
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It's all about staying in the game 5-8 more seasons which equals more MONEY. The less you throw as a pitcher the longer you get to play.

Cheers!
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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I think a lot of it has to do with how much better scouting is now.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:59 AM
 
Location: NY
9,072 posts, read 15,038,382 times
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It might have something to do with the trend of hitters being more selective, as well as striking out far more. I read a recent article about how the percentage of hitters who swing on the first pitch is plummeting, and how batters in general are more willing to take pitches, work counts, and drive up pitch count. Combine that with pitchers who like to nibble and are willing to throw a lot of balls working the corners, and you end up with pitchers who hit 100+ pitches in 5-6 innings of work! I am sure it is not the only reason either, but there has to be some contribution. It's awfully difficult to throw 300 IP or complete games when it takes a hundred tosses to get fifteen to eighteen outs.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Frisco, TX
7,559 posts, read 11,895,862 times
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Rolaids Relief Man Award - that's the beginning of the end.

The art of relief pitching gained in popularity enough for there to be an award in each respective league starting in 1976. Before then, a pitcher was expected to pull the cart and get the team a win. That's why we see those out-of-this-world numbers from the turn of the century and before - numbers that will never be broken.

Complete Games Year-by-Year Leaders by Baseball Almanac
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