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Monday, May 11, 2015

Pitch counts in high strike out games.

Michael Pineda struck out 16 Orioles, walked none at Yankee Stadium yesterday afternoon.  The Yankee record is 18 strike outs by Ron Guidry Saturday June 11, 1978.  Yankee manager Joe Girardi, a Nervous Nellie type, pulled Pineda after seven innings because Pineda had thrown 111 pitches.  Yankee announcers wondered how many pitches Guidry might have thrown but pitch counts are known only back to about 1988 for most games.  By the way, Guidry's game took only 2:07 to complete; Yanks beat the Angels 4-0.  Yesterday's game: 3:07; Yanks won 6-2.

Pitch Counts Monday, May 11, 2015 8:29 AM

Tom Tango developed a pitch count estimator for seasons when pitches were not counted... I think he did this in 2000...

xPCE - more exact pitch count estimator ...

The power of this equation is that it can theoretically be applied to
any environment (MLB 1911, college 1992, high school 2001, etc), as
long as that environment uses the current 4-ball, 3-strike,
2-strike-foul rule...


The difference between Randy Johnson who was still active in 2007 and Babe Adams who pitched a hundred years ago is startling.  To retire a batter Randy Johnson throws FORTY-TWO percent more pitches.  This could be a significant factor in the difference in innings thrown now versus a hundred years ago in the dead ball era.
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File:Shredded Wheat baseball ad 1909.pdf
By The Shredded Wheat Company 1909 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I applied the baseball-reference.com version of the Tango concept to data ranging from full league seasons to individual games.  I had done this for 20 strike games by Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood.  Today I did it also for Guidry.


xPCEDateTeamPitcher
131.145/8/2001ArizonaJohnson
131.144/29/1986BostonClemens
137.669/29/1996Boston at DetroitClemens
124.585/6/1998Chicago CubsWoods
142.106/17/1978YankeesGuidry

Ron Guidry threw about 142 pitches in striking out 18 batters in 1978.  Michael Pineda threw only 111 in striking out 16 batters yesterday.  Guidry had an advantage.  Sort of like Willie Mays taking almost 1,000 more at bats than Alex Rodriguez to hit 660 home runs.

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