Baseball Prospectus has a new article up on ESPN Insider. Allow me to bring you the point:
Yhe obsession with the nice round number of 100 has become less a line of death as much as a suggestion. As Rany Jazayerli noted in 2004, it's better to think of 120 pitches as the count at which people really should be concerned.
How much have matters changed? In 1999, the pitcher who averaged the highest pitch count per start on the season was Randy Johnson, with 120 pitches per game; he topped 130 pitches in a game eight times. Today, the per-game leader is Justin Verlander, with 109, which would have ranked 14th in 2000; he has thrown more than 120 pitches all of four times this season.
So I was curious, because Wandy has thrown 100+ pitches in 15 of his 21 starts (71.4%) this season, with six of those starts coming in at 110+ pitches (28.6%), and a season-high of 125 pitches in his complete game shutout of the Pirates on July 8.
In his previous four seasons, Wandy made 111 starts. He threw 100+ pitches in 35 of those starts (31.5%), and 110+ pitches in nine starts (8.1%).
What are his stats in 100+ pitch games? Wandy is 27-10 (13 ND), with a 3.30 ERA