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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Do Pitch-Counts Really Matter? 

Sometimes an entire scientific community believes something for no scientific reason. For example, the medical community has agreed for a number of years now that consuming cholesterol-laden foods increases your serum-cholesterol levels, even though billions of dollars have been spent trying to prove this without any semblance of success.

My point is that a scientific community's belief in something doesn't make it a scientific fact.

Has anyone proven that pitch counts really matter? The question of pitch-counts has been driving me crazy lately. The whole "sabermetric community" talks about teams that more or less ignore pitch-counts like they're idiots, but is that just because we like calling baseball personnel idiots? Do we have any proof that pitch-counts matter? Or are we relying on anecdotes and "common sense"? Is there really a difference between throwing 130 and 110 pitches once a week?

If someone could direct me toward a study that suggests pitch-counts matter, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Comments:
Here's the (free) Woolner article on his "Pitcher Abuse Points" metric that has a lot of data on this kind of stuff.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20020522woolner.shtml
 
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