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Dusty Baker and Edinson Volquez

As we all know by now the Wagon is out for the season, and may lose most of next year.  Dusty has the reputation of being a guy who is tough on pitchers, so I looked at Volquez's pitch counts from last season.  Volquez threw 110+ pitches 14 times, but he eclipsed 120 pitches only once.  So that doesn't seem that bad.  What I found to be extremely frustrating was that Volquez threw 110+ pitches in 5 out of his last 6 starts.  So Dusty had a pitcher who was reaching new territory as far as innings pitched (lets remember he also pitched in Winter ball before 2008), and decided what the hell, he should throw a shit ton of pitches in a lost season. His 121 pitch start came in September. 

Dusty is not without precedent.  Lets look at Prior in September of 2003.  On 9/1 in a game that the Cubs won 7-0, Prior threw 131 pitches, in his next start on 9/6 the Cubs won 8-4 and Prior threw 129 pitches, and overall he allowed Prior to eclipse 130 pitches 3 times, and he eclipsed 120 pitches 5 times, and in his other start he throw 109 pitches.  Prior to September of 2003 Prior had only thrown 130+ pitches once in his major league career.  Of course one could argue that the Cubs were in a pennant chase, and Dusty had to chose between protecting his pitcher and missing the playoffs, but the two games I pointed out had a fairly wide margin and he could have let up a little on Prior.

So to recap when Dusty takes a young pitcher into new territory as far as innings pitched in September, he rides him harder.  That does not seem like a very good idea.  I want him fired.

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