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  • 08/02/2007, 09:28AM ET

100 Pitch-Count: The Worst Thing That's Happened To Baseball

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I feel the pitch count is the worst thing that's happened to baseball. You get around 95 pitches and someone warms up in the bullpen. Typically the first hit you give up or inning pitched after 100 pitches is your last. Of course their is odd occasions when managers allow their pitchers to pitch to 115-130, but it's un-normal.

I was watching the Yankees broadcast last night, and either Joe Girardi or Al Leiter were talking about pitch counts and they had talked to Scott Shields before and he told them he pitched back-to-back 16-inning games, pitching about 250 pitches each game. This was either college or high-school.. can't remember exactly.

Your pitching should reflect how you've trained your body. Shields obviously trained himself to be able to pitch like that, and today he is still extremely dominate. He may not be a starter, but he is still very dominate.. especially this season.

Pitching should be reflected by an inning-by-inning basis. If you are at 107 pitches, but you pitched a 1-2-3 6th inning, you should be allowed to go out for another inning. Have someone warmed up so that if the pitcher gets into trouble, you have a reliever ready.


As a Red Sox fan, I can tell you there's a good reason managers ought to pay attention to pitch counts even if pitchers are "cruising". Remember the Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS? Pedro was well over one hundred pitches after the 7th inning, but Grady Little left him in. We all know what happened after that.


While it might be a bad thing, is it the WORST thing that has ever happened to baseball? Is it worse than the league's current steroid scandal? The Black Sox of 1919? Pete Rose's banning from baseball? Each of those incidents has damaged the credibility of baseball significantly. Nearly 80 years later, there's still controversy over the Black Sox. There's still tons of debate over Pete Rose. There's widespread scorn and hatred of Barry Bonds. There is no way limited pitching counts are the worst thing that's happened to baseball.


I was using 'worst' just as a figure, but I understand what you're saying, I didn't make it clear.

You can't blame the outcome of the game on Pedro's pitch-count. If Grady Little wanted him out of the game, he should have taken him out when he got to 100 pitches. He left him in because he was pitching well. If you are pitching good, there is no reason 100 pitches should be the *deciding factor*. Pedro cracked under pressure. That's about it. "Who's Your Daddy" didn't come from the clear blue. Pedro cracked under pressure, and he had to live with that.

Steriods, Pete Rose, the White Sox, etc. are all worse things that have happened to baseball, yes. I should have been more clear. I don't feel these things are even on the same level as the 100 pitch-count, so that's why I should've said "bad for baseball" but I didn't.


Well if you agree with me there's not much of a point in arguing, but I might as well go on.

Grady Little's refusal to take out Pedro is a lesson to all managers. Even the best of pitchers get fatigued late in the game. Pedro was pitching well, he had allowed 1 run over the first 7 innings. Yet, the Yankees managed to tie the game in the 8th inning. Pedro was losing control and had lost some velocity off his fastball.

Starting pitchers are much more likely to give up runs after 100 pitches, the statistics show it. With a fresher, dominating bullpen waiting to pitch, why leave a starting pitcher in their after over 100 pitches? In order to keep their job, managers need to win- and leaving starting pitchers in the game doesn't help a team do that.


If a pitcher is losing control, velocity on their pitches, and break on their breaking balls.. yes, take them out of the game.. whether they are at 90 pitches or 130 pitches. If you can bring someone in from the bullpen who is going to get outs and do better than your starter would late in the game, go ahead. There is no reason to leave them in if they aren't pitching good.

Just to throw something out there, hitters against Andy Pettitte, for example, after the 100 pitch-count mark are only batting .167. Pitchers do get better after that mark sometimes.


Some pitchers don't tire, but most do. If there's a fresh, good arm waiting in a bullpen, there's no reason to leave a starter in there after 100 pitches. Managers need to focus on the win, and a player's individual accomplishements later (except when a perfect game or no hitter's on the line). Leaving pitchers in after 100 pitches is dangerous to their health, and doesn't usually help the team.

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