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Pitching Changes

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#1 Physics Guy

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 03:31 PM

I was having a chat with my high school-aged son today about pitches and the topic of the screwball came up. I recalled that Fernando Valenzuela threw it. That led me to look up his stats for his rookie season when he won the ROY and CY awards. He was 13-7 with 11 CG and 8 SHO in 192 IP. Now that doesn't seem like a ton of innings, but that was the strike year of 1981 and the Dodgers only played 110 games. He did his damage in 25 starts. 

 

That reminded me (from my heydays of baseball card collecting) of the 1980 Oakland A's staff of Rick Langford, Mike Norris, Matt Keough, Steve McCatty and Brian Kingman. If I recall correctly, this is about the time teams started to switch from 4-man to 5-man rotations.The A's used 5 starters, but they still put up big innings. Those 5 starters completed (in order), 28, 24, 20, 11 and 11 games.I think that maybe their craziest stat may come from the team leader in saves, Bob Lacey (6 SV). He pitched in 47 games with one start, which happened to be a complete game shutout. Their total staff completed 94 games, whereas the entirety of MLB completed 45 in 2019. 

 

I'm not here to rip on today's state of affairs for pitching.I'm just pretty amazed at how much pitching has changed in my time of following baseball.Bullpens are much different than when I was a kid and pitchers throw, on average, quite a bit harder than when I was a kid.I'm not sure that there's a point to this post, other than I wanted to share those crazy stats from '80 and '81.

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#2 Thegrin

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Posted 22 December 2020 - 07:10 PM

Watch this to change again with the inclusion of electronic umpires.I wouldn;t predict how, exactly, it will depend too much on how players adapt, but I suspect batting averages will rise and OBP will too.This will lead to more pitching changes, opening pitchers and other stat drieven adjustments.:)

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#3 ToddlerHarmon

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 07:34 AM

It certainly has changed, but the 1980 A's staff was famously overworked by Billy Martin, IIRC.

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#4 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 23 December 2020 - 10:08 AM

I was having a chat with my high school-aged son today about pitches and the topic of the screwball came up. I recalled that Fernando Valenzuela threw it. That led me to look up his stats for his rookie season when he won the ROY and CY awards. He was 13-7 with 11 CG and 8 SHO in 192 IP. Now that doesn't seem like a ton of innings, but that was the strike year of 1981 and the Dodgers only played 110 games. He did his damage in 25 starts. 
 
That reminded me (from my heydays of baseball card collecting) of the 1980 Oakland A's staff of Rick Langford, Mike Norris, Matt Keough, Steve McCatty and Brian Kingman. If I recall correctly, this is about the time teams started to switch from 4-man to 5-man rotations.The A's used 5 starters, but they still put up big innings. Those 5 starters completed (in order), 28, 24, 20, 11 and 11 games.I think that maybe their craziest stat may come from the team leader in saves, Bob Lacey (6 SV). He pitched in 47 games with one start, which happened to be a complete game shutout. Their total staff completed 94 games, whereas the entirety of MLB completed 45 in 2019. 
 
I'm not here to rip on today's state of affairs for pitching.I'm just pretty amazed at how much pitching has changed in my time of following baseball.Bullpens are much different than when I was a kid and pitchers throw, on average, quite a bit harder than when I was a kid.I'm not sure that there's a point to this post, other than I wanted to share those crazy stats from '80 and '81.


If you like pitching stats, look at the Oriole starters 1971-1973. Dobsen, Cuellar, McNally and Palmer.

#5 twinfan

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Posted 24 December 2020 - 10:24 PM

Part of the reason pitchers are babied today goes back to those A's teams whose pitchers were ineffective after another year. Some believe it was because they threw too many innings. Well, tell that to Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale, etc. That's bunk as far as I'm concerned. Today's pitchers also throw pitches with various grips and arm twists that start in Little League and carry through the minors and just don't have the arm or leg strength to go very far. Finally, they don't know how to pitch so they can't get through a lineup the third time. All they know if how to throw 95+ mph. It's disgusting just like all this bull talk of launch angles and mph off the bat by the hitters. Who gives a darn? That's not baseball. The Twins can't win in the playoffs because they have no clue how to move a runner from second to third with no outs or how to drive in runs. That's the problem with a Bomba squad. 

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