Monday, August 14, 2006

The Art of Pitching Inside

Yesterday afternoon's game got me to thinking about pitching inside and hitting batters. After Jose Bautista was hit leading off the 7th and 8th innings both benches were warned. There were a total of 3 HBPs yesterday by Cardinals pitchers. The Pirates pitchers hit none. It made me think about the rule changes about pitching inside and I have come to the conclusion that it is total bullshit. One of the most important things a pitcher can do is throw inside and control the outside corner of the plate. Pitchers have been backing hitters off the plate for years and until the rule changes it was one of the only advantages pitchers had left. Lowering the mound, in the AL the DH, small ballparks, and countless other aspects of the present day game have all been roadblocks in the way to success for today's major league pitchers. Almost all rule changes in the past 40 years have been to make the game easier for hitters.

I am of the opinion that if today's dominant pitchers had pitched 30-40 years ago they would have been nearly unhittable. If they had had the advantages that Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal, etc. had they would have been just as unhittable. Thats just my humble opinion.


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Steeltown Mike said...

I have also long thought that Maddux in his prime would have a career ERA somewhere around 1.50 if he'd pitched with all the advantages of olden-day pitchers.

However, if Barry Bonds had played back in the days of yore against those pitchers, he would have, like, 1000 home runs.

bucdaddy said...

You make a good point, Doc. Pedro at his best, pitching in 1968, would have had an ERA around 1.12 too. And Clemens and Johnson ... Lord, I don't wanna think about it. You don't even have to go back that far. Look at the ERAs on the Pirates' rotation in 1992. Up all the ERAs by a run and that would still be a pretty good rotation toady.

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