Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 21, 2007
BASEBALL: The Little Black Raincloud

I'm trying to pry the sky off my head after the Mets had to take Beltran out tonight with a leg injury of undetermined severity, with the announcers discussing the possibility that if Billy Wagner's not ready to go tonight the team may use a guy who arrived from AA this morning to close.

Now, it's raining. Ideally, the rain will end the game after 5 with the Mets up by 4, but more likely all it will do is guarantee that Pedro doesn't pitch the sixth and thus the Mets need four innings of relief work.

UPDATE: Apparently it was a knee injury. Beltran walked off the field under his own power, but we have seen in the past that he does not play well through injury.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:06 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I don't know how tonight, or the season, is going to play out, but the one thing I have decided is that the Mets need to change the culture of Rick Peterson conditioning pitchers to only throw a hundred pitches, because last season's pattern of asking a bullpen to throw three or four innings every night just is not sustainable. I know that Pedro and Glavine both aren't really good candidates to be stretched out, but they need to work everyone else harder.

Posted by: Jerry at September 21, 2007 9:17 PM

On Beltran, the good news is that, when he comes back close to healthy, he is murder.

I've never understood this mania about limiting innings and pitches. It seems to me that Seaver, Morris and Carlton, not to mention Sutton, pitched gazillion innings a year, and they lasted forever. On the other hand, I recall Seaver usually went 8 innings for 100 pitches, walked 1 or 2 at most, struck out 10. So umps have changed (we know this), and I'll bet more players were juiced over the last 2 decades than we realize, or will admit, killing pitching in the process.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 21, 2007 9:24 PM

Pitch counts aren't much available for the seventies. But There is evidence of Roger Clemens routinely throwing 120-135 pitches, and occasionally throwing 160 or more. And he's still pitching at 45. I do think pitchers in the 19-21 range should be protected, but other than that, I think they can throw as much as you train them to throw.

Posted by: Jerry at September 21, 2007 9:32 PM

But let's face it - the only guy who's been pitching well enough to merit getting past 100 pitches is Pedro, and he's the guy who needs to have a limited pitch count. I absolutely agree it's time to let Perez and Maine at least throw 120+ pitches, but they haven't exactly pitched well enough to get that far. As much blame as Willie might merit for continuing to rely on Mota and Show night after night (and of course they come up with a 3.1 scoreless inning effort), the starters have forced Willie's hand.

At any rate, it's nice to wake up at 5:45 in the morning and see that the Mets have won.

Posted by: paul zummo at September 22, 2007 5:48 AM

I think we are going to see (at last) an end to this trend in reduced starting pitcher innings. For no reason than you simply can't find 12 bona fide pitchers for each major league team.

Pitchers mature later than other athletes, at least I think so. As I said, I do recall Seaver being on a pitch count too, around 100. That is the practical limit where you can go, before the rising tide of injuries stacks up on you. The pressure then, has to come to the umpires, who did what the Leagues wanted them to do: increase the offense. We've seen that trend mushroom. From the DH to looking the other way on juicing, to the phantom called third strike, to a strike zone that is 2/3 what it used to be. Offense will have to take a hit here. Because the essence of the game is to throw the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball. You can't totally disrupt that top third and expect the game to flourish.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 22, 2007 8:18 AM

OP came up big, timely.

Posted by: abe at September 22, 2007 7:35 PM

Perez was excellent. Willie could, of course, have gotten another inning out of him (102 pitches through eight). But I can live with that.

Posted by: Jerry at September 23, 2007 12:45 AM

Why is Ron Santo not broadcasting this last series at Wriggle field. This might be a dream come true for all Cubs fans. Is he ill. Am worried.

Posted by: Shirley Johnson at September 23, 2007 4:50 PM

The Mets lucked out. The Marlins couldn't catch or throw. A good team would not have given up so many extra outs. I am still worried.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 23, 2007 11:04 PM
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