Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pitch Counts Never Die

Someone, I assume Cho, said:

Hey Drake -- In SI this week, Nolan Ryan said he once threw 242 pitches in a start. Why are today's pitchers such babies?

Most obviously, I'm not aware that pitchers today are babies. (Roy Halladay pitched his eighth complete game of the season today.) I would note that (as I've said over and over) pitch counts matter WHEN PITCHERS ARE YOUNG. NOT AFTER THEY TURN 25.

Nolan Ryan, for instance, didn't throw 200 innings until 1972. He was 25 before that season started. Why was he such a baby before he turned 25?

Also, Nolan Ryan was a physical freak. For every Nolan Ryan, I'll give you a Fernando Valenzuela who pitched 285 innings at age 21 and was done at age 29. The single data point of Fernando is as valid as the single data point of Nolan Ryan.

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