Pitch Counts

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, March 31, 2014

In an article, “Precious Mettle” about Mashiro Tanaka, who signed with the New York Yankees for $155 million over seven years, with a “player-opt-out after four years, “pitch counts” are discussed.

Tanaka had a 207 pitch marathon after “throwing 520 pitches over five throwing sessions that spanned seven days. Explained Tanaka…,’I wanted to find out if I could keep pitching using the (right) form despite throwing a lot of pitches.  I wanted to throw a session where I was tired from the start.’

“Major League Baseball began keeping official data on pitch counts in 1999…The pitch count was little more than a novelty.  Four years later Cubs manager Dusty Baker rode the young power arms of Kerry Wood, 26, and Mark Prior, 23, down the stretch and to within five outs of the World Series. Individually, Wood and Prior threw 120 pitches or more in nine of their 11 combined starts that September and twice more in the postseason.  Both subsequently broke down with arm injuries and were never the same.”

Down the stretch is primarily used in horse racing for the final minutes of a race.  Here it is used as a race to the baseball World Series.  The statement ” Baker rode the young power arms…down the stretch.”  really equates it with a horse race.  It can be used in business when a deal is almost done.

 

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