PDA

View Full Version : How many pitches did the old-timers throw per game?


Archive
08-26-2007, 11:27 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe Drouillard</b><p>Hello Everyone,<br /><br />On my way home from work yesterday I listened to Denny McLain being interviewed on the radio on the reason we will never see a thirty-game winner in baseball again. He claimed that pitchers today throw the same amount of pitches (approximately 95-105 pitches per game) as pitchers in his era. The difference is today pitchers throw, on the average, four more pitches per inning than the old-timers, and are usually sitting on the pine by the time the seventh inning rolls around. "Today," McLain asserted, "pitchers don't challenge the hitters when they have two strikes on them." McLain blamed the coaches for not teaching young pitchers to be more aggressive.<br /><br />I realize Denny McLain with all of his character issues is not the best source for information, but it got me thinking about the great pitchers from the pre-war era. Were they able to save their arms by throwing more strikes? When they pitched a complete game did they only throw 95-100 pitches?<br /><br />Any thoughts or insights.<br /><br />Best wishes,<br /><br />Joe

Archive
08-27-2007, 12:54 AM
Posted By: <b>Larry</b><p>Not sure about the pitches per inning statement, but overall, pitchers in the old days went a lot longer into a game on average. Sometimes even pitching both games of a doubleheader and less days between starts. They were ironmen

Archive
08-27-2007, 02:00 AM
Posted By: <b>dennis</b><p>now the umpires have a small strike zone and any one can hit it out of the park,makes pitching a little tougher than even 15-20 years ago. all the factors favor the hitter.smaller strike zone,smaller parks,body armor for batters,lighter bats,bigger players,tighter wound balls,parks in the west where the ball travels farther,umpire warnings if a batter is hit or god forbid is pitched inside!no wonder pitchers are afraid to challenge batters so they feel they have to be perfect with their pitches. plus they are pampered in the minors(when was the last time a minor league pitcher won 20 games) and managers are afraid of being blamed for blowing out the staffs arms.i think this started with billy martin in the late70's early 80's in oakland.back then they did not count pitches and games were played much quicker.imo they probably do throw more pitches per inning now than at any time in baseball history.

Archive
08-27-2007, 02:12 AM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>A lot of it has to do with how hard pitchers throw today. It was a rare pitcher that threw 90+mph on a consistent basis. Nowadays, it's almost impossible to get to the majors without throwing 90+ all the time. This puts a lot of extra strain on the arm.<br /><br />People are starting to figure out that pitchers are like milers in track. It used to be that the US produced all the best pre-20 year old milers in the world with 16 year olds break a 4 minute mile, but by the time these guys got to the international stage in their early to mid 20s, they were burnt out and never did well. Now track coaches and runners have learned that if they want a long career, they don't want to get burned out early. This philosophy has taken about 20 years to filter through the system but the US now has the top ranked miler in the world, Adam (something, can't remember his last name), who broke Steve Scott's 25 year old American record for the mile earlier this year.<br /><br />This line of thinking has started to go this route for pitchers now. Little League is on a strict pitch count and days rest so that young kids with great promise don't get burned out early. It'll be a while before we see this filter up to the majors, but maybe we will see pitchers throwing 250+ innings and the return of a the 4 man rotation.<br /><br />Jay<br /><br />The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

Archive
08-27-2007, 02:21 AM
Posted By: <b>davidcycleback</b><p>The new absolute pitch count in Little League helps teach kids to be better pitchers. For the kid on a pitch count, getting a second pitch ground out is better than a five pitch strikeout. Getting a ground out double means you can pitch later into the game.<br /><br />"My job isn't to strike guys out, its to get them out, sometimes by striking them out."<br /> -- Tom Seaver

Archive
08-27-2007, 11:40 AM
Posted By: <b>Larry</b><p>Joe, I found this article interesting:<br /><br /> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_game" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complete_game</a>

Archive
08-27-2007, 09:44 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe Drouillard</b><p>Thanks all for your observations.<br /><br />The article Larry provided says Ryan once threw 200 pitches in one game. Can you imagine a modern day manager letting a pitcher do that? <br /><br />Amazing.<br /><br />Joe

Archive
08-28-2007, 12:19 AM
Posted By: <b>Justin</b><p>This is a great article I just read that compares the pitch counts of the Dodgers from 1947-64 with those of the modern day NL:<br /><br /><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=383" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=383</a><br /><br />It's interesting stuff.<br /><br />I know Red Barrett pitched a complete game in 1944 on only 58 pitches. <br /><br />And Denny McClain is definitely exaggerating, pitchers of the time weren't only throwing 105 pitches a game, sometines they were throwing way more than that. Also McClain had his arm blow out at a young age possibly due to overwork.<br />

Archive
08-28-2007, 12:55 AM
Posted By: <b>Fred C</b><p>Jay, that makes a lot of sense. There were a few freaks of nature... Nolan Ryan comes to mind. Remember, he walked over 200 batters in a few years and he also had a ton of Ks to go with it... that's a lot of pitches, but then again the Express wasn't an ordinary pitcher.<br /><br />Gee, I wonder what kind of pitch count they have Tim Wakefield...

Archive
08-28-2007, 02:34 PM
Posted By: <b>D. C. Markel</b><p>Arguably the greatest pitching duel occurred on July 2, 1963 when Juan Marichal beat Warren Spahn, 1-0 in 16 innings. <br /><br /><br /><a href="http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscore.php?boxid=196307020SFN" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscore.php?boxid=196307020SFN</a>

Archive
08-28-2007, 03:08 PM
Posted By: <b>David Goff</b><p>I would have to agree with what Jay stated..how pitchers today probably throw harder than before. I found 2 good articles that may help with this topic<br /><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Win_%28baseball%29" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Win_%28baseball%29</a><br /><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead-ball_era" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead-ball_era</a><br /><br /><br />

Archive
08-28-2007, 10:28 PM
Posted By: <b>aro13</b><p>Jay - Just to clarify. The American Miler is Alan Webb. He was setting American records in high school. He had a few bad years after high school before regaining his form. Not certain if that was the best analogy to use.<br /><br />As for pitch counts. Batters seem to work the count a lot more today than ever before. Check out the strikeout leaders for pitchers before the 1960's.

Archive
08-28-2007, 11:06 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>If Webb was a high school phenom, then he is the exception. I have always been a huge fan of track and used to watch it as much or more than baseball. Being a great high school distance runner has never translated into being a world class runner later. <br /><br />Jay<br><br>The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

Archive
08-30-2007, 06:15 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>WEbb failed miserably in the finals. He lead the race from the start until about the last 50 meters and got passed by almost everyone on the stretch. An American named Lagat did win the event, but even that is a technicality in that the guy is Kenyan and only became a US citizen recently.<br /><br />Jay<br><br>The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

Archive
08-30-2007, 06:38 PM
Posted By: <b>Jim VB</b><p>I respect your thoughts on Baseball cards, but you are wrong about track. There has never been a 16 year old who has run under 4 minutes in the mile. It's only happened 4 times and three of those times were in the 1960's. This is the all time list:<br /><br />MILE ALL TIME HS LIST <br />3:53.43 Alan Webb (South Lakes, Reston, Virginia) 01 <br />3:55.3 Jim Ryun (East, Wichita, Kansas) 65 <br />3:59.4 Tim Danielson (Chula Vista, California) 66 <br />3:59.8 Marty Liquori (Essex Catholic, Newark, New Jersey) 67 <br />4:00.29 Donald Sage (York, Elmhurst, Illinois) 00 <br /><br />Ryun and Liquori had long, outstanding careers, both nationally and internationally. Danielson was an outstanding College runner, but never measured up to either of the other two. <br /><br /><br />Also calling Webb's race today a miserable failure is ridiculous. He did lead at the 400 meter mark, but not at 800 or 1200. He "faded" to 8th in the stretch, but the top 8 guys finished within .92 seconds of the lead. He will always have trouble when it comes down to a kickers race. He will never have the leg speed of some of his competitors. His best races will come when he moves up to 5000M. He is among the world's elite in this event. <br /><br />Also, for the record, Bernard Lagat has been a US citizen for a couple of years. It's become fairly common for some of the top level Kenyans to move elsewhere to train. Kenya always tries to comtrol them by telling them which races to run, what to do with their prize money and which Kenyan "should" win certain races. Kenya's track & field organization is corrupt. Many of the top guys have moved to get citizenship elsewhere. <br />

Archive
08-30-2007, 06:49 PM
Posted By: <b>jay behrens</b><p>True, 16 was a bit of stretch, but I came from a high school when I was a junior that had 2 guys running sub 4:15 in the mile and they weren't even the top milers in the state. None of them went on to even decent college careers as runnings.<br /><br />Jim check the research on HS long distance runners. The burnout factor is very high, with those kids rarely developing much beyond their HS numbers. <br /><br />Swimmers are another group that get burned out early. I forget who the female is that just set an American record at age 40. That is truly amazing in today's races dominated by teenagers.<br /><br />Jay<br><br>The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.