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.