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.