First Star – Will Nieves (.350)
Second Star – Saul Rivera (.288)
Third Star – Lastings Milledge (.199)
Top Play – Will Nieves homerun in the 9h (+.361)


Rather than recap a game I really didn’t get to watch completely, I’d like to talk about something that Matt mentioned in the comment section yesterday.

Pitches taken is another one of my least liked stats in this new fangled baseball mentality. Wow, he’s seeing 4 pitches per plate appearances. What if three of them were strikes? Or he’s watching the one pitch that’s in his zone and should hit? Not too worry, he’s seeing more pitches so it’s all good. For example, in my first game this year I saw, eight pitches (I’ K’ed), four pitches (I K’ed), and six pitches (I k’ed). Dumb, dumb, dumb.

While we’re at it, 1 Run Losses? What kind of moronic record keeping is this? Why aren’t we keeping 1 Run Wins too? And what’s the difference? A win is a win, a loss is a loss.

Would you agree that it’s important for our starting pitchers to keep their pitch counts low for the game? I think everyone would. Well, it may sound obvious, but the overall pitch count is made of up each individual at bats added together. If guys can see a good amount of pitches, it increases the starting pitchers overall pitch count. It seems elementary, but it’s true. I’m not saying that it’s always important to see four pitches. What I am saying is that if you see a pitch you can hit hard, go for it. If not, be patient, make the pitcher work and more than likely you’ll get the pitch you can drive.

In addition to taxing the starter, taking pitches means we get into the bullpen quicker. Getting into the bullpen is vital because it means weaker pitchers. Guys are in middle relief for a reason, they don’t have the skill to pitch as a starter or as a late inning guy. These are the guys you can capitalize on and begin to put the game away against. To see these guys, that starter has to be out of there before the 6th on most occasions. The only ways to make that happen are pitch counts, poor performance, and injury. Since you can’t control injuries and poor performance by the starter probably already means you’re winning, running up the pitch count is something you can do whether you’re winning or losing.

When I keep score, I count pitches. I like to see a starter average 15 or less per inning. If he can do that, he should be able to go seven with 105 pitches. That’s a great outing that saves the bullpen. Pitch counts, while important, are not an isolated stat. They need to be looked at in the context of the game, but to completely dismiss them is silly.

As for one run losses, they do keep track of one run wins too. It’s in the other side of the column, Matt. What a team’s one run record tells me is that, yes they won the game, but it could have easily gone the other way. If you’re winning games by one run, the team’s run differential is not very much. Luck isn’t the best way to describe it, but it a way, it means that your record is due partially on luck. The White Sox won the world series in 2005 and were very good in the one run games. The next year, with the same team, they weren’t winning those game and saw their record go the other way. It’s all about context for these stats.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail