Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 29, 2003
BASEBALL: Taking His Turn

Lost in the controversy over Greg Maddux's durability and conditioning (addressed by Baseball Musings here, here and here) is the fact that Maddux led the National League in starts, with 35 (Roy Halladay led the majors with 36). Granted, that's just 1 extra start over guys like Millwood and Vazquez and teammate Russ Ortiz, but at Maddux's age there's something to be said for just showing up every fifth day and knowing what it takes to get you there.

That said, the criticism that Maddux might be able to go deeper in games if he was in better shape seems a fair one. Maddux threw 100 pitches in a game just four times this season (the last time on July 22), and averaged just under 82 pitches per start.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:10 AM | Baseball 2002-03 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Maddux's durability may be improved, but go over to ESPN.com and look at how he pitched against good teams compared to how he pitched against against weak ones-VERY large disparity. This effect applied all year-his "early season slump" was actually a product of the quality of teams he faced, more than anything else...he was lit up by teams like the Phillies later in the season as well.

Maddux is in serious decline.

Posted by: John Salmon at September 29, 2003 2:21 PM

I'm calling borderline stat there: its not enough to look at pitches per a start you also need to look at innings per start. Its the innings not the pitches the help the team right?

Posted by: Brendan at September 30, 2003 6:52 PM

Yes, it's the innings that help -- but it's the pitches that tell you how hard a guy is working. When Maddux is consistently leaving games early and leaving them to the mercies of the Braves' incompetent middle relievers, that's bad news.

Posted by: The Crank at September 30, 2003 8:47 PM
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