Gentile: Gems without whiffs

From SABR member James Gentile at The Hardball Times on May 17, 2013:

I had initially planned to use my time today to write about the immediate effects of games where pitchers have racked up unusually high pitch counts. But after running my initial queries on the highest pitch count games of the past decade, I became distracted by some of the data from one game in particular.

As it turns out, Livan Hernandez gave us the highest pitch count from a single game in the past ten years, throwing 150 pitches against the Florida Marlins back in 2005. A handful of pitchers have rivaled that total since 2002, including Edwin Jackson‘s 149 pitch no-hitter, eight-walker from just a few years ago. Hard-nosed, flame-throwing strikeout beasts like Randy Johnson, Jason Schmidt and Kerry Wood all topped 140 pitches at one point or another in the last decade, yet remarkably it was the crafty soft-tossing Livan Hernandez who managed to reach this milestone on four separate occasions since 2002.

But something about Livan’s 150-pitch game really intrigued me.

We all know that Livan was never feared for his ability to carve through lineups racking up tremendous strikeout totals. He was in many ways the quintessential ‘finesse‘ pitcher, relying on pitch-to-contact philosphies– forcing the hitters off-balance, keeping the ball in the park, and handing out no free-passes, etc.

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Originally published: May 21, 2013. Last Updated: May 21, 2013.