As opposed to Murray Chass On Baseball, of course.
I sometimes think the only person in the world who would take out a starter who is throwing a shutout, say, after 5 or 6 innings when facing the order for the 3rd or even 4th time, is me. For example, in the NLCS game 4, Lynn, the Cardinals starter, came out to pitch the 5th inning in a close game. No one thought anything of it; however he was facing the batting order for the 3rd time, and he wasn’t even pitching a shutout. He had allowed 2 runs in 4 innings.
So what happens when we let a starter pitch another inning when he is throwing a shutout? Surely we know the answer to that – at least managers do, right? Yeah, right! Managers do 100′s of things right and wrong, when they have no idea what the numbers are (somehow they think they do, I guess). I truly find it hard to believe that after 100 some odd years of baseball, no one can tell us what happens when a starter is pitching a shutout versus, say, after allowing a couple of runs, or even 5 or 6. Managers will gladly remove a starter after 5 or 6 innings when they have allowed 4 or 5 runs, but almost never do that when they are pitching a shutout. I realize that some of that has to do with not pissing off your players. You can’t, I guess, be yanking pitchers left and right when they have been pitching well. However, there is not a manager alive, I don’t think, or most everyone for that matter, who does not think that a pitcher who is pitching well through 4, 5, 6, or 7 innings will not continue to pitch well, as long as his pitch count is reasonable (and he is a regular starter who can easily throw 6 or 7 innings).
...Looking at these numbers, it is clear that early in the game if you are getting hammered, it does not bode well for the immediate future. However, once you make it through 6 innings, the pitcher who allows 4 runs or more gives up the same number of runs, more or less, as the pitcher who is throwing a shutout, and in either case, it is not pretty. Again, that is because batters have seen them 3 or 4 times already. Pitching well or pitching badly by the time the 7th inning rolls around is meaningless as far as future run prevention is concerned.
Posted: October 18, 2013 at 05:27 AM | 26 comment(s)
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