Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 9, 2010
BASEBALL: Stat of the Day

Roy Halladay is leading the league in complete games and shutouts for the third year in a row. Last pitcher to lead the league in both categories three years running? Grover Alexander 1915-17 (Walter Johnson also did it a few years earlier).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:55 AM | Baseball 2010 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Which brings up the question on whether I want one of my starting pitchers to lead the league in complete games/shutouts?

Most of the data I have read indicates that a starting pticher's arm gets most stressed after he has thrown 110-120 pitches (pitcher dependent). Particulary if those last 10-20 pitches are in high stress situations.

In the "old" days, starters regularly completed games even if their team was behind. But today with all of the deep bullpens and specialists, this is not the case.

So If my team is ahead by 3 or so runs in the 7th inning, why would I not remove the starting pticher if he is near 100 pitches even if he is throwing a shutout? I can't see why I would risk a good starter just so he can get a shutout or a complete game.

Posted by: Lee at August 9, 2010 11:42 AM

I think you'll see more harmonization of the CG and SHO leaders because it's so rare for a pitcher to complete a game that's not a shutout. If you have a guy like Halladay, who's got a track record of mostly being very durable (his various injuries have mostly not been arm woes) and who works efficiently with few pitches, and he's tossing a shutout, it makes sense to let him finish it rather than go to, say, Brad Lidge.

Posted by: Crank at August 9, 2010 11:47 AM

I am very interested to see what Nolan Ryan does in Texas. He has said he is going to start stretching out his pitchers from top to bottom in the organization. In my opinion that is a great plan. Pitchers are under worked all over baseball. More innings by starters will lead to smaller bullpens and more players on the bench to be used in games. Sounds like more options for the manager and a more interesting game.

Posted by: maddirishman at August 9, 2010 2:57 PM

While I like the idea of starters at least getting to the 8th inning, I think that is an idea that is long gone. Even stretching their arms out won't change things.

Managers are too matchup oriented and too CYA. If they leave the starter in while they have a guy in the bullpen ready, they are second guessed more. Better to pull a pitcher one batter early than one batter late. Too many managers have seen LaRussa be successful (and keep employed) to go back now.

Also, not allowing a hitter to have a 4th look at a pitcher really puts the hitter at a disadvantage. The game is now a specialist game-it will stay that way.

Posted by: Lee at August 9, 2010 8:29 PM

One of my favorite recent statisticl quirks is that in 2008, CC Sabathia was the league leader in shutouts in both leagues (he tied Halladay in the AL). Barring somebody having gotten two saves in each league sixty years before they knew what a save was, I'm pretty sure that's the only time that's ever happened.

Posted by: Jerry at August 9, 2010 9:57 PM
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