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Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Whatever their record the Fish will be irritants in the East. They won 84 games last year but won the head-to-head 8-10. Their rotation and power keep them in games.

From the last thread:

If you really want to mention games where Hamels might have been overused:

- April 12 vs Cubs
Phils up 5-0 and bought out Hamels when he was already at 100 pitches (save 1 IP)

- May 15 vs. Braves
Phils were up 5-0 in the 7th inning yet Cholly ran him out there to 120 pitches for a meaningless CG (save 2 IP)

- June 16 vs Red Sox
Phils were 8-2 and Hamels needlessly pitched the 7th inning when he was at nearly 100 pitches (save 1 IP)

- July 3 vs. Braves
Phils were up 3-0 and Cholly again let Hamels needlessly try for a complete game (save 1 IP maybe 2)

- August 23 vs Dodgers
Phils were up 9-2 and let Hamels pitch the 7th innig (save 1 IP)

- Sept 2 vs Nats
Phils were up 4-0 and brought out Hamels for the 7th inning (save a whopping 1/3 IP)

So maybe the Phils could have saved about 10 IP (max 12 IP) from Hamels' workload but the reality is that they played in a bunch of close games last year with him on the mound because they just didn't score enough for him.

Don't really think Cholly abused Hamels' arm that much except for the needless 2 CGs against the Braves where the Phils could have deployed Condrey, Seanez, or one of their lesser relievers to wrap it up.

Hamels had a nice record but the Phils were only 19-14 in is starts. Solid but nothing spectular.

It really was the deep postseason run that added the mileage to his arm.

As for discussing the Verducci effect, the big thing isn't just the injuries but the poor performance in the following season by just about every on the list.

I thought some SABR folks questioned the evidence of a Verducci effect?

With the weather the way that it is at this WBC game, I'd almost prefer if the teams flipped a coin for seeding. They are both moving on, so this game is fairly meaningless. No sense in anyone getting hurt.

20-30 years ago pitchers routinely threw 300 innings a season and despite that number being cut by almost 1/3, the number of pitching injuries hasn't really declined. Why?

I agree that there is some circumstantial support for this effect but it sometimes seems like people are gonna get injuries no matter what.

Given the result of the post-season, the gut was right in testing the limits of Cole's physical and mental endurance. He already had the desire.

Why are fans allowed to bring airhorns to ballgames?

Good question...that's just stupid.

Cole Hamels "mis-managed" in 2008. The need to find something to complain about is hilarious.

What a bunch sniveling, whining, jerks.

NEPP: The last pitcher to throw 300 innings was Steve Carlton in 1980. And the number of pitchers who burned out early after heavy workloads has always been fairly high. The ones who did it year after year are mostly Hall of Famers whose names you recognize. If you got back and look at innings-pitched leaders from the '30s and '40s, you'll see names you don't recognize like Pete Donohue and Van Lingle Mungo (OK, you might recognize that one because it's so melodious) -- guys who threw 300 innings at an early age and burned out fairly young.

One big difference: In the '50s, if you blew out your arm, you could make about the same salary down on the loading dock. Today you keep trying to come back, because there aren't many jobs that equal MLB pay.

"What a bunch sniveling, whining, jerks."

Do you have anything intelligent to add, or is it another day in Mike paradise?

NEPP - I think the effect goes both ways: injuries and ineffectiveness. But you're right to say that we're dealing with a unstable group: starting pitchers under the age of 25.

Mikes - You don't know me. I'm not sure what I've said that warrants personal attack. Grow up.

Mike77 - If you have a valuable piece of equipment that you have invested a large amount of financial resources in, do you use this resource whenever and however?

I don't think that Hamels was "mismanaged" per se by the Phils though. Maybe the Phils could have saved 10-12 IP max on his arm last year but it wasn't like they threw him out needlessly having wrapped up a playoff spot or pushed him on short rest.

Alby: I recall an interview a few years ago with some vet pitcher from the 1950s who said 300 IP was no problem because a starting pitcher could pace himself during the game, pulling back a little. The hitters weren't nearly as strong or quick as they are today. Pitchers threw 90 mph in the 1930s and they still throw 90 mph today. But today you can't pace yourself. The hitters are far stronger than in the old days thanks to breakthroughs in training regimen and nutrition (and, yes, HGH, the cream and the clear etc.) and any pitcher who tries to pace himself gets rocked. You have to go all out as long as you can and very rarely is that 9 innings or every 4 days like it ws in the 50s and 60s.

Clout: Totally agree. Another effect of that: Until they started to climb in the '60s, strikeout totals weren't as high as today. I don't know where to find data on how many pitches were thrown, but I'd bet it was a lower number per at-bat than is common nowadays.

All that said, I don't think throwing 300 IP regularly was all that easy even then, especially for young pitchers. When I browse through the encyclopedia, I see more guys with sporadic 300 IP seasons than guys who did it year after year, the way Robin Roberts did.

And, to NEPP's "20-30 years ago" point, we're approaching the 30th anniversary of Carlton's 1980 season of 304 IP. In this case, the object in the rear-view mirror is further away than it appears.

While we all reminisce. Calton had the most amazing pitching year of all time in the early 70's. My memory of that year is only eclipsed by my watching (and hearing) a Ritchie Allen home run sound into the upper deck at Connie Mack when I was 10 years old and the fistfight I had with with father at age 15 at who was the best real man between Pete Rose and Dick Allen.

I further this comment to all those that wish to reminisce. Who was the better person as far as character between Ritchie(before Dick)Allen and Pete Rose?

Shiftwork sucks but I appeciate reading comments from all the regulars at this "normal hour". Myers will win 20. You heard it from me first statsnoids.

Most shortsighted nickname in MLB history:

(Just thought I'd throw this in for a chuckle).

Yo, new thread

Something nobody has mentioned in this discussion about innings pitched and its effect on arms - the lowering of the mound after Bob Gibson's 1968 performance has, in my opinion, had more to do with pitchers' arm problems than any other factor.

jhs - More than anyone elsde, that nickname really ticked off his brother.

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