Pitch Count Contest

I haven’t done a contest in a while, and I’ve got a copy of Stumbling on Wins by David Berri and Martin Schmidt to give away. If you’d like to win a copy, answer the following question correctly.

From 1988 to 2009, by how many pitches did the median number of pitches thrown in a game by starters change?

Put your answer in the comments. One entry per person. First commenter with the right answer wins a free copy of the book. As with all contests here, I reserve the right to arbitrate unforeseen circumstances as I see fit.

30 Responses “Pitch Count Contest”

  1. Millsy says:

    Ummmm: Zero?

  2. mrchippy says:


  3. Ken Houghton says:

    Drats. Millsy beat me to it. Now I have to work through whether instinct is correct.

    First: itt’s median, not mean. And Dusty Baker wasn’t managing in 1988. (He didn’t actually manage in any real sense of the word in 2009 either, but he was employed.)

    So a few middling pitchers threw several more pitches. And keeping starting pitchers to a 90- or 100-count doesn’t affect that much from the Goose/Quiz/Sutter/LeeSmith/Hrabosky era.

    Otoh, the skew of having 16 NL teams and only 14 AL teams implies a slight DECLINE in pitches thrown, since the proportion of DH games went DOWN. (If you assume the conventional wisdom that having the DH enables pitchers to pitch more/longer.)

    So the MEDIAN 2009 pitcher is 16/30ths of a NL pitcher and 14/30ths of an AL pitcher.

    Best assumption: SP median went up about 5 pitches (ca. 1/2 inning).

  4. Ken Houghton says:

    Oops. Got my sign backwards. Since the Baker factor will be smaller than the More Teams without DH factor, SP medisn should have gone DOWN about 5 pitches.

  5. Mervin says:

    I’ll say… 11.

  6. Random says:

    Down 15

  7. Tomasz Radko says:

    Down 7

  8. Dan says:

    Down 1

  9. Rob says:


    I’m assuming we need not guess direction of change.

  10. JC says:

    No, you need to pick the direction.

  11. dan says:

    I don’t know, but since I want the book, I’ll guess 3 less in 09 than in 88.

  12. Jay says:

    Down 5

  13. Rob says:

    In that case, I’d like to change mine to up 1.

  14. bigboid says:

    down 2.

  15. Erik Johnson says:

    up 2

  16. Michael says:

    Down 12

  17. Padman Jones says:

    Down 6

  18. Darin says:

    Down 8

  19. Francisco M. says:

    Down 6

  20. Tom says:

    Plus 5

  21. Crawdaddy says:

    7 less pitches now?

  22. Crawdaddy says:

    Oops . . . I meant 9.

  23. Chris A. says:

    My guess: +13 pithces.

  24. ebrown says:

    down 16

  25. Alan says:

    Down 10

  26. Josh says:

    So what was the correct answer?