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April 26, 2006

Mark Down June 7th On Your Calendar

From the Boston Globe:

He never had thrown this many pitches in a Red Sox uniform, or for anyone else in almost six years. In 534 big-league starts going back 19 seasons, he'd thrown more pitches just 16 times in his career. In April? Just twice, back in 1998.

So how is it that on a 42-degree night in Cleveland, Curt Schilling at age 39 was left in to throw 133 pitches, and that was without getting through the seventh inning of last night's 8-6 win over the Indians?

Schilling hadn't thrown this many pitches since July 7, 2000, when he was with the Phillies and threw 135 against the Orioles. The last Sox pitcher to throw as many pitches was Martinez, who threw 136 on May 1, 2001. Seven weeks later, by the way, he was on the disabled list with a bad shoulder.

But, Schilling insisted, ''This was one of those nights where the line score doesn't match [what happened on] the field."

I'm a firm believer that throwing 100 pitches over 6 innings in a 1-0 game against a great hitting team is more stressful than throwing 125 pitches over 7 innings when you're winning 9-1 against a team with an average offense. So, I've never been a slave to a strict pitch count - with a pitcher over the age of 28.

Still, 133 pitches over 30 batters (in 6.2 IP)? That's like 20 pitches per IP.

Granted, Schilling is a special pitcher. But, it will be interesting to see if this game does have any impact on his performance down the road this season. Yes, he did this back in April 1998 and went on to have the third best season of his career that year.

But, that was at age 31 - and Curt's 39-years old now.

Let's see how Schilling is 6 weeks from now on June 7th. By the way, on that date, the Red Sox will be in New York to play the Yankees.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at April 26, 2006 09:39 AM

Comments

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Tito Francona who kept running Schilling out there to huge pitch count totals back in the late 90s? Which lead to some of Schilling's injury woes? No complaints here if Curt keeps running up high pitch counts. The more the merrier I say!

As others have said elsewhere, to me this says more about Boston's bullpen than anything else.

Posted by: Shaun P. [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2006 10:55 AM

Shaun, you're correct. It was Francona. I recall one season when Schilling lost 2 games to the Mets in similar fashion...Francona staying with Schilling to complete a game with 4 or 5 run leads only to see Schilling melt down in the 9th. And yet...Schilling allegedly likes Francona. Probably a convenient fiction. Of course, his Philly days were before he...ahem...met Luis Gonzalez in the desert and became "a horse." Before that he got run out of Philadelphia because he couldn't consistently keep his velocity up beyond the 6th and 7th innings.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2006 12:01 PM

Wouldn't that be perfect - if somehow someone had that dirt on him?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2006 01:05 PM

Ugh. Schilling is so annoying with that "line score doesn't match what's on the field" crap. He got some good strikeouts, but from what I saw he looked lucky to only give up 5 runs against Cleveland. Also, with his "resurgence," it's important to keep in mind who he's pitched against: two terrible lineups, Seattle and Baltimore, one barely passable lineup (esp. w/ key injuries), Tampa Bay, and one pretty good lineup (but on opening day), Texas. The dude will come back to earth one way or another this year, and probably soon.

Posted by: festus [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2006 01:18 PM

Of course, his Philly days were before he...ahem...met Luis Gonzalez in the desert and became "a horse." Before that he got run out of Philadelphia because he couldn't consistently keep his velocity up beyond the 6th and 7th innings.
==========================
200 IP seasons: 4 before he was traded to the D-Backs. The season he was traded, his threw over 200 innings.

Top 5 in CG's 6 times before traded to the D-Backs.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2006 02:00 PM

Also, with his "resurgence," it's important to keep in mind who he's pitched against:
================

Part of that resurgence can be chalked up to having such a bad year last year.

I'd say it's safe/fair to say he'll put up a 30-40 RSAA season.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2006 02:02 PM