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Pitch counter crapped out

Posted 04-18-2009 at 05:55 PM by Lundind1

Well my pitch counter crapped out on me, I think that it was from overuse. There is something to be said by watching the pitch counts during games. I have a rule for major leaguers as to how many pitches I would like to see thrown. Here is what I can usually gather from the number of pitches per inning.

<9. Extremely efficient and probably in line to carry no hits or one hit for prolonged periods of a game. Pitcher is getting all his pitches over and is extremely deceptive. Causes batters to swing at enticing pitches out of the zone, that produce contact but quick outs. Pitcher is really dealing there. Words that come to mind are Complete game, Shut out, no hitter, and perfect game at the greatest.

9-14. Efficient, deadly, deceptive, enough to shut down good hitting. String 3 guys together that have these consistent abilities to win 90-100 games. Many times in 2005 White Sox pitching got these results and were able to save more time from the bullpen. Great strikeout pitchers achieve these numbers of efficiency. These guys make great #1's and 2's. No wasted pitches.

15-18. In my mind, this is the most that you would like to see out of a starter per inning. Anything more that this and it becomes a taxing proposition for the arms of the starters and the Bullpen. Can usually work about 6 full innings turn things over to the setup men and closers in the Bullpen. Still effective and will scatter hits and walks sporatically over the number of innings pitched.

19-24. Starting to labor, stuggles with command and pitch selection. A large liability in your rotation if the stuggles are sustained. Pitcher may not have it that day. Time for a good long reliever. May also indicate that the other team's bats are thriving.

25+. Done. Either the other team is battling, location is suffering, or pitcher is stuggling mightily with control. Either way, these games tend to get out of had quickly. Tons of wasted pitches, not effective at all.

These are just some of the guidelines that I use to judge a pitchers performance. Not always the rule, so just take it as a suggestion for watching your pitchers.

There are other factors that come into play. Bad defense and errors will prolong innings and inflate these numbers. Also batters that are more patient, seeing more pitches, will run these numbers higher.

Finally umpiring will help determine these numbers too. If a pitcher is getting squeezed, then the number will go up. Another situation that umpiring will effect a performance is when the strike zone moves. Generally, most umps will either call inside strikes or outside strikes. Sometimes that might change just a slight amount due to fatigue or other factors. Face it, they are human too.

One last note on pitching counts. The Indians sent 17 men to the plate at New Yankee Stadium and scored 14 runs in the inning. I don't know if I have ever seen anything like that before. Let me know if you remember an inning getting away from a major league team like that.
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