Anecdotally, sure we can all recall times when this has happened. I wonder if the numbers back it up though. Unfortunately my weak google skills didn't produce an answer. So is anyone able to compile the stats for the start following a 120+ pitch game for all pitchers? It would be particularly interesting (to me at least) to see how those numbers compare the start immediately preceding the 120+ pitch effort.
I'm not going to that level, but I did take a look at Buchholz's career game logs. There is only one other game in his career where he threw 120+ pitches, on 5/18/11 against Detroit. In his next start, on 5/23/11 he only threw 94 pitches, but went 7.1 IP with 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, and 1 K against Cleveland. So, there is a lone data point indicating that Buchholz has handled that pitch count in the past without negative consequences, without extra rest.
The others among the "Top 3" Red Sox pitchers:
Format is standard IP-H-R (ER if different)-BB-K for the following start.Jon Lester-
Following a 130 pitch effort on 5/19/08 against KC (no-hitter), had a 5.0-7-4(3)-2-3 performance against Oakland on 5/25/08 (5 days rest)
- Following 122 pitches on 7/5/09 against Seattle, went 8.0-4-0-2-8 against Kansas City on 7/10/09 (regular rest)
- Following 122 pitches on 9/6/09 against the White Sox, went 8.0-2-0-3-7 against Tampa Bay on 9/13/09 (6 days rest)
- Following 120 pitches on 5/4/10 against LAA, went 7.0-4-2-2-7 against NYY on 5/9/10 (regular rest)
- Following 124 pitches on 7/24/10 against SEA, went 6.0-11-4-2-7 against DET on 7/30/10 (5 days rest)
- Following 120 pitches on 9/1/10 against BAL, 6.0-4-2-3-10 against TBR on 9/6/10 (regular rest)
- Following 127 pitches 5/30/11 against CHW, went 6.0-8-3-1-5 against NYY on 6/7/11 (7 days rest)
- Following 120 pitches on 6/30/11 against PHI, went 4.0-0-0-1-5 against TOR on 7/5/11 (regular rest - left with injury
- Following 122 pitches on 4/28/12 against CHW, went 6.0-5-3-3-2 against BAL on 5/4/12 (5 days rest)
- Following 120 pitches on 5/30/12 against DET, went 6.0-8-4(2)-1-5 against BAL on 6/5/12 (5 days rest)
In Lester's case, at least, there's not much evidence that throwing 120+ pitches makes him a worse pitcher in the following start. He has 1 poor performance in 2008 after the no-no, 2 dominant performances in 2009, 1 poor and 2 respectable outings in 2010, 1 respectable and 1 injury outing in 2011, and 1 respectable and 1 poor (bad defense?) outing in 2012. I don't see much use in totalling up these numbers, as each individual year suffers from SSS, and a total combining 5 different years throws in too many varying factors (overall effectiveness that year, days of rest, opponent quality, etc.) to be useful. I think his 2011 injury time in July may be skewing our impression that 120+ pitches = doom.Josh Beckett
(Red Sox Years only)
- Following 121 pitches on 8/19/06 against NYY (he got destroyed), he went 6.0-4-1-2-3 against LAA on 8/24/06, but only threw 72 pitches in a 2-1 victory (regular rest)
- Following 120 pitches against SEA on 5/16/09, went 8.0-5-1(0)-1-5 against NYM on 5/23/09 (6 days rest)
- Following 120 pitches against NYY on 8/23/09 (got murdered against), went 5.0-5-5-5-9 against TOR on 8/28/09 (regular rest)
- Following 125 pitches on 5/21/11 against LAA, went 7.0-7-4-0-4 against BAL on 5/27/11 (5 days rest)
- Following 126 pitches on 4/29/12 against CHW, went 2.1-7-7-2-2 against CLE on 5/10/12 (10 days rest)
Beckett looks to be a more interesting case. He has one effective, but oddly short outing by pitches in 2006. He never hit 120 pitches in 2007 or 2008. He was awesome once on extra rest and sucked once on regular rest in 2009. He never hit 120 pitches in 2010, was mediocre in 1 start in 2011, and we know about the 2012 outing after his skipped start/golf outing.
Ultimately, at least for the pitchers that I (we?) are most concerned with, I don't see any really solid reason to say that 120+ pitches in a given start tells us anything about what the next start will look like. We have basically no data on Buchholz, data on Lester that can be read about 7 different ways depending on how you want to divide it up logically, and vaguely discomforting data on Beckett with wildly different levels of rest among the starts.
Edited by JMDurron, 08 June 2012 - 08:57 AM.