Skip to comments.Pitch counts? Not in Marichal-Spahn Era
Posted on 07/02/2013 5:56:41 PM PDT by FlJoePa
As the 50-year anniversary of his famous 16-inning duel against Warren Spahn approached, Giants Hall of Famer Juan Marichal was reluctant to directly criticize today's cautious approach to pitcher care.
Marichal threw 227 pitches in beating the Braves 1-0 on July 2, 1963. Spahn threw 201, with Willie Mays blasting the last offering into the Candlestick Park seats.
Such pitch counts are impossible to fathom today. In a story for Grantland.com, writer Rany Jazayerli noted that "there have been fewer 130-plus pitch outings over the past 12 years combined than there were every single season before the 1994-95 strike. This is the single greatest change in the way baseball is played in the 21st century, and it isn't close."
But in 1963, even a pair of 200-plus pitch outings hardly turned the world upside down.
"No, because it was normal," Orlando Cepeda, the Giants' Hall of Famer, recalled. "The pitchers went all the way whether it was 12 innings or 14 innings. Now you look back and you realize (Spahn-Marichal) was something special. But back then, we'd seen that many times."
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
Teams have so much money invested in pitchers now they have to take a cautious approach. Ron Washington caught grief earlier this season for letting Yu Darvish go 130 pitches.
Pitch counts when you sing the national anthem, but not when they sang “take me out to the ball game”. I haven’t been to a baseball game since 9/11. Do they still God bless America?
The game is big business today and multicultural, too.
That was a bitter loss and may partly account for the fact that I have not given a damn about sports since.
Couple things going on:
1) Pitchers used to “coast” - now that pretty much have to throw at maximum effort all the time just to survive.
2) We’ve forgotten the names of all the pitchers that lasted a couple of seasons and then blew their arms out throwing really high pitch counts, and remember the freaks (Spahn, Marichal) who didn’t
Everybody is a "Specialist", and Complete Games are few and far between....100 pitches, and you're pulled for the Reliever, or middle-man, or Closer....different times/different game.
Well, that’s a theory (not one I necessarily agree with) anyway.
My Dad actually played on that Giants team (a year earlier before he was traded) and came up with all those guys (Marichal, McCovey, Cepeda, Gaylord, 3 Alous, Tom Haller, on and on). The game was played differently.
My Dad’s last season salary was $5600 I think.
I just checked baseball reference for the 1963 season. It seems virtually every NL team had one or more pitchers who had at least 10 complete games. Even the awful teams like the Mets. I think the Giants had all four starters with at least 10 complete games.
What team can afford these days to have a single starting pitcher go down? The last team that could afford that to a degree was the 90’s Braves. The risk of straining them is just too great.
yes and i can’t figure out what the strike zone is but at least it’s not football and there is baseball in heaven.
Amazing ...Spahn was 42 and threw over 200 pitches .
Reds Pitcher Homer Bailey just pitched his second No-Hitter. Amazing thing is he was the last one to pitch a no hitter last year.
He used to pitch an inning or two in relief between starts if he had to as well - within a 4 man rotation.
All the talk about this and that, the fact is that the best American and Latino athletes in the world wanted to play MLB back then. There were only 16 teams and the rosters were much smaller.
They didn’t want to play football and get hurt or basketball and not ever make any money - they wanted to play baseball.
Those that made it to the “Show” were the best of the best, and guys like Spahn and Marichal were better than even that. THAT’S why they could do what they did.
Except for a little catchers mitt I bought when I was 5, my first good glove which served me through little league, pony league, and High School baseball was a Warren Spahn.
I picked it out at the Western Auto in DeFuniak Springs, FL. Tho Spahn was a left hander, my glove was for a right handed player.
I think one of my Nephews eventually stole it.
He won 363 games and lost 3 full seasons to WWII, where he was a combat engineer who saw action in the Battle of the bulge and awarded the Purple Heart. Not much more needs to be said.
Marichal was no slouch either. He was as tough as they came in his day. There’s a reason he’s in the Hall of Fame as well.
That is interesting. The German commander of the SS almost made it before the engineers blew the bridges just as he got to them.
I remember his comment was they lost because of those damn Combat Engineers. Spahn might have been one of those doing the demolition work.
Marichal was done at age 34. Gaylord Perry pitched into his 40’s. Denny McLain? Done at age 25. All pitched a lot. Now it’s the contracts ($$$) that dictate the pitch counts.
Watched some of the finals of the US college women’s softball tournament a month or so ago - their pitchers were regularly throwing 130 or more times a game, and then likely to be back pitching again in a day or two - not the same thing of course, but it is amusing to me that today’s pro pitchers seem to be into risky territory when they get up to 110 throws - like pro football players who run one play and then have to head for the bench for a drink and oxygen - good thing our military is still as tough as it ever was......
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