View Full Version : Pulling the pitcher

07-31-2006, 07:27 AM
One of the arguments embeded in the fur flying over yesterdays game is about when to pull the pitcher.

My basic question is, how much should a manager trust his starter who says, "I'm good skipper, I'm not out of gas" ?

I'm not talking about obvious situations to pull the starter like bottom of the 8th, a few guys on, the guy's veliocity has been trailing off, etc.

I'm talking about those border-line situations when you can make an argument either way. Like in the 6th or something when the guy gets in a jam and that bullpen phone is just stareing at the manager.

Obviously the pitchers past history (ie. how many pitches he normally throws per game), combined with the matchup on the field and the managers experience in these situations all factor into the decision.

I'm talking about a generic situation, not trying to reshash yerday. There's plenty of other threads if you want to argue yesterday.

07-31-2006, 07:28 AM
I can usually tell when the pitcher starts getting hit hard.;)

07-31-2006, 08:12 AM
First of all you never listen to the pitcher about how he feels. Even little league pitchers will tell you 'I can do it' when they can't because of pride. This is the point when competativeness outweighs clear judgment. I'm sure many of you including myself have told a coach that we can get that last out or go one more hitter and really we can't and the coach should pull his pitcher.

As for general situations, trying my best to not rehash yesterday or discuss Narron, each pitcher has a range of number pitches that designates their pitch count. You see 100 pitches as a benchmark, but some guys go longer and some less. I would think this would be a stat a manager could use.

Next, I would look at velocity. Everyone knows that a difference of 5 mph off a fastball could be the difference in success or failure.

As mentioned, you can see if batters are getting good swings and perhaps pulling the ball hard then the pitcher probably is done, unless you're Joe Mays when this occurs in the first inning.

As a general rule, as a manager in 13-18 baseball, I never let the starting pitcher who was ahead late in the game pitch to the winning run. For instance, if we're up 5-2 in the 6th inning and the first two batters reach base then I pull him and not let him get beat. If the next guy comes in and stinks it up then the loss is on him not my starter.

Not probably anything special but my thoughts nonetheless.