NY Sports Day
William Coppola

Scout’s Take: Get The Analytics Out Of Pitching

NYSD

Enough is enough with all this analytical stuff when it comes to pitch counts in professional baseball. Pitchers arms will not fall off if they pitch nine innings. Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer and hundreds of other former major league pitchers can still drive a car or have dinner using their former pitching arm.

 
The Dodgers lost a game on Saturday because their star pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu was pulled after 90 pitches in a game that he dominated against a Mets line-up of pretty good hitters. The Mets had only  two hits off of him over those seven innings and never threatened. Why would you take him out? What complicated algorithmic, mathematical, mumbo jumbo guidelines are used to make that decision?
 
In last nights game, the Mets did the same thing with Zack Wheeler after a stellar performance again, after seven innings. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Wheeler looked gassed after pitching out of jams. “Looking at his face after looking at all the high-leverage pitches he made and then that last at-bat, striking that guy out, I mean you could just see he gave everything he could,” said Callaway. 
 
WHAT? I’m not buying that explanation. This is a pattered repeated over and over again in baseball today. Calloway like other managers have to say things like that so it looks like a gut / eyeball decision. He knew Wheeler was coming out after seven when he was in the first inning. Soon five innings will be a quality start. Callaway like all the other managers in baseball today, is just following the plan sent down by the mathematicians up in the owners box.
 
Pitch well to the fifth, sixth or seventh inning, keep it under 100 pitches and bring in another arm.
 
Before all these college graduate geniuses became the on field decision makers in baseball, when a pitcher had a big important strikeout to end a threat in a close game , like deGrom did on Saturday to end the seventh in a nothing nothing game and, Wheeler, last night with the lead he would be pumped and couldn’t wait to get back out on the mound to finish off the opposition’s hitters. That fire in the gut thing is real and it has been around ever since caveman killed his first dinosaur. Wheeler should have remained in the game as he only threw 97 pitches, 66 for strikes.
 
That is pretty darn good if you ask me. 

 What as in what Ouija Board can tell you that the pitcher (In this case three pitchers) brought in to keep the Mets from scoring in Ryu’s case and then last night in the same scenario in Wheeler’s game will be just as good as the guy you already have out there getting outs? There have been only 30 complete games pitched this year so far in major league baseball with about two weeks left in a season of 2430 games. The reason is not that pitchers can’t do it.

They are not allowed.

The pitchers job is to get out of the inning and keep the other team from scoring. Wheeler and Ryu were doing that. To hope and pray that the bullpen will win the game for you is just not doing it for me. I agree that stats and analytics have a place in this game as it pertains to all the other things in advanced scouting.
 
But get it the heck out of deciding if a pitcher should be removed when he is pitching well. There is just too much thinking being done by someone other than the guy throwing the ball. 
 


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