Felix and Pitch Counts

Dave · August 20, 2005 at 8:46 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The good news:

8 innings, 5 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 14 groundballs, 4 flyballs. All on a night where the strike zone, was, well, we need an image to represent this accurately:

| Normal |
| Strike |
| Zone |

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|_ | <----- tonight's strike zone Season line: 29 innings, 16 H, 4 BB, 30 K, 1.24 ERA. Still hasn't allowed an extra base hit. The bad news: 115 pitches So, I guess we need to do a post on pitch counts, which is still one of the most controversial subjects in baseball. We'll do a longer post on it soon, especially as pitch limits relate to Felix. For now, here's a summary: If this is a trend, it's bad. If it's an isolated incident, it isn't a big deal. Felix was rolling in the 7th and the 8th, throwing just as hard as he was early in the game, and his mechanics were fine. He didn't appear tired, and pitching tired is the most plausible of the pitcher injury theories. The "the game doesn't matter" belief flies a lot better with fans who have given up on the season than with a manager or the ballclub. Try telling Mike Hargrove that this game "didn't matter". He knew Felix was his best pitcher, and sending him out there gave him the best chance to win tonight's game. If he had thrown 100 pitches, I doubt anyone would have cared. 105, maybe a few people, but it wouldn't have been a big deal. So, really, the concern is over the last 10-15 pitches. If you believe that there's some magical injury demon that crops up from pitch 101 and on, well, you shouldn't. But there clearly is evidence that higher pitch counts correlate with pitcher injuries. And the M's should be careful with Felix. He shouldn't regularly get over 100 pitches the rest of the year. But as a one time thing? It's not a big deal. Don't freak out, and don't call for heads to roll. If the M's manage Felix well the rest of the year, this won't have any kind of impact on his career at all. If he's regularly throwing 115 pitches the rest of the year, however, I'll lead the charge on Safeco Field myself.


50 Responses to “Felix and Pitch Counts”

  1. emzfanatic on August 20th, 2005 8:53 pm

    We have reasons to be paranoid: recent injuries to prospects from Blackley to Soriano. Also one can look at what happend to Mark Prior…

    Above all else, good writing, it alleviates the concern of Hargrove and company. I hope the high pitch count was more of an observation/test on Felix’s stamina/mechanics.

    Long Live The KING!

  2. Dave on August 20th, 2005 8:56 pm

    None of the M’s prospects who have gotten injured have run up high pitch counts in the minors. The M’s keep their minor leaguers on a short leash.

    Pitchers get hurt. We don’t really know why. Pitching tired is probably a reason. I’m not convinced Felix was pitching tired tonight.

  3. Matt Williams on August 20th, 2005 9:02 pm

    Great post. They were careful with him earlier, so I’m not too worried about him being thrashed. Really I feel this was Hargrove saying “we need to get this guy the win, make him feel confident in himself.”

  4. JP on August 20th, 2005 9:11 pm

    I agree with Matt, I think they were hoping to score a run in the top of the 9th and win the game for King. If they consistently keep having him throw 100+ pitches every outing, I will join the charge.

  5. Panev on August 20th, 2005 9:14 pm

    Anyone watch the LL World Series today?

    Even Little League is thinking about changing its innings per week regulation to a pitch count regulation. Also, possibly banning the curve ball.

    What I think we forget about all of these young pitchers is what has happened to them before they ever get drafted. There is a ton of abuse from 8 – 18 (22) as these kids are developing.

    None of which the pro coaches and trainers can change.

  6. Matt Williams on August 20th, 2005 9:23 pm

    The pitch count thing is touchy though. If you keep kids/high schoolers from throwing many pitches will they end up not developing the strength to make the majors? Is throwing 50 pitches too much when you’re young? 75?

    Even the pitcher abuse points isn’t exactly definitive, but when it comes to the limits of the human body little is. The guys we see at the major league level are already freaks…the question is how much of a genetic freak they are. Are they run of the mill cyclist freak? Lemond-level freak? Armstrong-level freak?

  7. Panev on August 20th, 2005 9:34 pm

    I believe that there is a difference in playing catch, pitching practice and game situation pitching for youth players.

    Arm strength can be built in young players without in-game situations.

    I believe that kids just don’t play enough catch, let alone get over pitched in many situations.

  8. Pete Livengood on August 20th, 2005 9:46 pm

    As a LL coach, I would support a pitch count/week regulation instead of an innings/week regulation. The only problem is finding a team scorer (as opposed to being both scorekeeper and 3rd base coach) who will accurately track pitch counts.

    As for how much is too much, in my experience that varies wildly per kid, but most kids are visibly tiring at 60-80 pitches. Some can go that far and farther, but the regs should be designed to create opportunity and protect the “average” LL pitcher.

    On the curve, if it is a “true” curve, it shouldn’t be thrown in LL, period. But there are variations, like a “spinner” and some kinds of “knuckle curves” that are thrown essentially with the same motion as a fastball that can be reasonably effective and safe, and I think kids should be allowed to throw those if they can do it effectively. Most kids should be working to perfect their fastball (first 4-seam, then 2-seam), and once they can command that, then a change. That’s really all they need . . ..

  9. msb on August 20th, 2005 10:00 pm

    I’m hoping/extrapolating/inferring from what was said in the postgame, that they wanted to get him up to about this number of pitches, and then will leave it as the high end of where he will go.

    I tuned in BB Tonight (foolishly hoping to see Felix) and was treated of course to the offensive highlights for the game wrap, with one of Felix’ pitch sequences shown to illustrate what he has to offer, and so that Kruk could ramble on about Doc Gooden. I actually found myself missing Karl Ravech as they all watched Sexson’s GS while remarking that someone as tall as Sexson shouldn’t hit homeruns (they need to talk to Derrek Lee) and guest host Buchegras (sp) tossed in that it was good that he did as Beltre was a bust this year offensively. sigh.

    I haven’t been watching BBTN lately– they did give Sherrill a web-gem– have they even noticed Betancourt? Kruk’s been enough to keep me from watching– tonight he also wanted to know why the Yankees and White Sox weren’t knocking down the doors to get Griffey, and thought people shouldn’t jump to conclusions too soon about Milton Bradley’s latest dust-up … this from the man who apparently announced that it was obvious Beltre was the aggressor while they repeatedly aired the Franklin/Beltre clip.

  10. DMZ on August 20th, 2005 10:04 pm

    One outing of 115 pitches is no big deal. Injury-wise, we could debate where you draw the line and what the risks are for ages, but I think one thing that’s clear from research is that when starters go over 100 pitches, their next performance is likely to suffer.

    That’s the decision managers have to make as they get up there: is having this guy continue to throw worth his next start, and is it worth injuring them? At 101, both of those aren’t that big of a deal. At 110, the next start should be a concern, and at 120, if someone has to chloroform Hargrove to get Felix relieved, I think you do it.

  11. murton on August 20th, 2005 10:05 pm

    I don’t think 115 is excessive but back to back 8 inning games is worrisome because of all the warmups throws involved. Even though the between-innings tosses are at less than full velocity, if they start to add up, doesn’t that take a toll on the arm? He’s so good and his pitches stay strong throughout that he’s going to be pitching deep into plenty of game before he’s even 22 if he stays healthy.

    I just remember some pitcher talking about how even complete games with reasonable pitch counts wear on the arm because of all the extra non-game throwing involved.

  12. DMZ on August 20th, 2005 10:28 pm

    Depends on who you listen to. Leo Mazzone, for instance, will tell you that you want to do a ton of throwing but little throwing off the mound. Others argue throwing off the mound in warm-ups is no big deal.

    Meanwhile, there’s a school of thought, including many pitchers, that will argue that game-total pitches isn’t nearly as important as single-inning pitch counts in causing the fatigue that leads to bad technique (and thus, increased injury risk). They might say that warm-ups and quick innings are no big deals.


  13. murton on August 20th, 2005 10:48 pm

    DMZ, is that how Leo Mazzone’s between game throwing regime is broken down? More activity like long-tossing and less mound throwing? I thought it was the reverse, since the the long-tossing emphasis is the more traditional approach. I thought Mazzone’s program involved throwing twice on the mound between starts at far less than full exertion in contrast to the traditional approach which entails long-tossing to build strength and throwing off the mound only once for sharpness.

  14. Typical Idiot Fan on August 20th, 2005 10:52 pm

    Y’know, even if Felix is 19 years old, when you look at his body frame, this boy is capable of throwing 120+ pitches without getting tired or having problems. I could easily compare his body frame to that of CC Sabathia or Bartolo Colon, both pitchers are similar in mechanics and upper body strength, and their endurance is fine with injury free careers (thus far). Also, Freddy Garcia has a big upper body and can be a horse at times.

    Making a mountain out of a molehill. Felix will be fine. They’ve been steadily increasing his pitch count each game thus far, and he has shown no indication of soreness, “bursitis”, or fatigue. I think they’re doing things just fine. Tonight, he reached a pitch count that is, basically, the max for most M’s pitchers this year. In other words, he hasn’t thrown more then Jamie Moyer or Joel Piniero have in any outting this year.

    Take it easy. We need to know what the King can do. More importantly, I think Felix needs to know what he can do too.

  15. edgarfan on August 20th, 2005 10:55 pm

    Dave, very nice post. Many thanks. I especially like the point you make about pitching tired being, perhaps, more of a factor than raw pitch counts in leading to injuries. And, certainly, I saw no evidence tonight of Felix pitching tired. His velocity was as strong in the eighth as it was all night, and his mechanics didn’t seem to differ at all in that last inning. Of course, I note all this while admitting that I’d love to sit down for a game with a pitching expert and have him/her school me on all of the finer points on what to watch for in a pitcher’s mechanics (other than the basic release point, which I still find tough to track from pitch to pitch).

  16. DMZ on August 20th, 2005 11:03 pm

    Tonight, he reached a pitch count that is, basically, the max for most M’s pitchers this year. In other words, he hasn’t thrown more then Jamie Moyer or Joel Piniero have in any outting this year.

    What? No it isn’t. Moyer’s thrown 126, 120, and he’s got a bunch more from 100-120. Pineiro threw 120, 119, and he’s got a set of 100-120 too. Meche has thrown 116, 117, 119. Franklin’s got 118 and a bunch of 100 up to that.

    Come on, this is in the game logs. It’s not that hard to look up.

  17. DMZ on August 20th, 2005 11:05 pm

    Moyer’s 126, btw, tied for the 10th-most pitches thrown in any game this year.

  18. DMZ on August 20th, 2005 11:08 pm

    Mariner pitchers by Pitcher Abuse Points
    (rank out of 242 pitchers who’ve started)
    Moyer #17
    Meche #45
    Pineiro #54
    Franklin #61

  19. Colm on August 20th, 2005 11:14 pm

    It still makes me nervous.

    Don’t Oakland stress the need to limit not the overall number of innings pitched, but the increase in innings pitched from one year to the next. For them, Barry Zito tossing 220 or 230 inninng is no big deal, but if a prospect pitched 150 innings in AA and AAA the previous season then they’ll limit him to 180 innings in the current season.

    Maybe it’s fine. Maybe it’s nothing to worry about. Maybe they’ve learned the lesson from overworking Bobby Madritsch last year… I don’t trust these monkeys.

  20. Coach on August 20th, 2005 11:16 pm

    I, for one, am not worried about pitch count per se as it can readily be tracked. What concerns me more is the judgement of the medical/training staff. I’m losing confidence that they will monitor his condition durng his next start to track any ill effects from going 115 this time. I’m thinking about the way they handled Pokey Reese in ST, and the way they have handled Meche as two examples. Pokey’s situation is difficult to judge being on the outside, but they seem to have taken his assurances that he “felt fine” at face value. Surely they have ways to evaluate other than to ask the player (no medical expertise required to do that). Now we find out that Meche has had trouble with the knee on his push-off leg going back to last year! Furthermore, he was unable to run in pregame warmups any time recently without that knee swelling up. Despite this (and Meche’s occasional assurance that he had no pain) they kept running him out there every fifth day. Hargrove’s comment was that they “thought it would get better”. I’m not a medical professional, but this concerns me. If Felix has the bursitis recur, what makes you all think they would handle the situation differently?

  21. Gomez on August 20th, 2005 11:21 pm

    12. you make an excellent point that was actually brought up in the postgame after Gil’s start, that it’s not so much a high pitch count overall that wears on arms, but the big innings where a pitcher has to throw 20+ pitches in one inning that wears down a pitcher. The big inning, so was said, does damage to the arm and body that isn’t undone from resting between innings or from having easy innings afterward. It remains through the game, and too many of those innings can add up over a long period, which would explain in part how Gil wore down so much, and why Felix was able to keep going at full speed even after 100+ pitches. Felix doesn’t have the trouble innings that Gil frequently does.

  22. Rusty on August 20th, 2005 11:26 pm

    As for boosting Felix’s confidence by getting him the win, I think this pretty pointless. Felix has plenty of confidence and always will. He doesn’t need the win to help him with his pitching. We have come a long ways in understanding what makes up outstanding pitching. Wins used to be the standard, then ERA, then briefly WHIP & SO:BB ratio, and now it’s down to SO’s, BB’s and HR’s.

    In fact, now we’re understanding the importance of groundballs and flyballs, as well. I’m guessing Felix knows all of this and maybe more, primarily because coaches are emphasizing this stuff too.

  23. Matt Williams on August 20th, 2005 11:36 pm

    As for boosting Felix’s confidence by getting him the win, I think this pretty pointless.

    But it’s an old idea in baseball. It may be “wrong”, but managers will always leave guys in longer if they’re pitching a good game and it’s tied (compared to a good game where they’re ahead).

  24. Rusty on August 21st, 2005 12:03 am

    Exactly! It’s an old idea. The game has moved on past this. The only reason I see for a manager leaving a pitcher in for an extra inning or two is not for the pitcher’s benefit, but for the manager’s benefit. Pitcher’s are judged on other metrics these days. Managers, on the other hand, are still judged on Wins, and probably always will be.

  25. troy on August 21st, 2005 1:15 am

    24, pitchers are still judged by their wins in many traditional circles, which almost undoubtedly includes the clubhouse. Just ask John Kruk.

  26. adam on August 21st, 2005 2:53 am

    Dave said it exactly right, if this becomes a trend we need to hire a hit man…..umm…I mean we need to boo really loud. He did seem to tire a little bit, his fastball went down to 93 for the first time and he seemed to be throwing with a little more effort…and this particular instance will have zero affect on his arm…but it doesn’t make me feel good.

    And, this season is over….and if Hargrove doesn’t realize that, send Felix “The King” Hernandez back down to AAA. I love watching him pitch more than a Richie Sexson 500 foot blast, but it’s not worth it.

  27. David on August 21st, 2005 3:39 am

    Look, Felix is a born pitcher, and at some point you just have to let a guy like that pitch without the incessant hemming and hawing over pitch counts or innings. I’m not saying Hargrove should go all ‘Dusty Baker’ on him, but 115 pitches is not that many. He’s ready to do the job, so let’s let him do the job.

  28. DMZ on August 21st, 2005 4:02 am

    Yeah, because what we’ve been doing here is incessant hemming and hawing.

  29. Jackster on August 21st, 2005 6:37 am

    Was it really necessary to send Felix Hernandez back out on mound to start the 8th innings with 106 pitches already on the clock?

    What makes anybody know for sure he could get out of an inning with less than 10 -15 pitches? If you have a crystal ball like that, you shouldnt be posting on internet blogs. It was terrible usage control of a young promising pitcher. What if he wasted a few more pitches or allowed a couple base runners, did Hargrove expect to see his pitch count run close to 120+ before getting pulled?


  30. msb on August 21st, 2005 8:15 am

    coincidently, the Daily News has a piece on Mazzonne today:

    and Chass talks to Mike Marshall in the NY Times:

  31. Pete Livengood on August 21st, 2005 9:56 am

    Count me among those who believe it is the high pitch-count innings rather than simple high pitch-counts that matter more. I am not qualified (or informed) enough to do more than speculate about whether that causes an increased risk of injury, but I think there is pretty good evidence that it affects performance. I know we’re not supposed to plug other blogs, but I on my since-mostly-abandoned blog mid-way through 2004, and it is a kind of frightening thing to look at (particularly since we now know what has happened with many of these guys). BTW, looking for similar stats for Felix, it doesn’t look like we’ve got too much to worry about — he’s at 13.4 P/IP, and 3.64 P/PA, hardly the territory the ’04 staff pretty regularly hit.

    I was on vacation in Whistler this past week and didn’t get back until late last night, so I’ve missed watching Felix’s last two starts (or seeing anything resembling decent coverage of the games), so I don’t know how hard he worked in any particular inning yesterday. However, I think Dave is hitting this right on the money: an isolated 115 is probably no big deal, especially if not accompanied by a big inning or two. If this becomes a pattern, or Grover shows a tendency to still leave Felix in for pitches 100-115+ after an inning or two where he throws 20-30 pitches (instead of cruising along with inning pitch-counts in the teens), there will be a lot more cause for worry.

    I don’t mind a manager who want to leave a kid in a game through the 8th of a tie game to try to get him a win (especially when it is an “easy” and efficient 115), even in a lost season. Despite what Rusty said about a guy like Felix not needing a confidence boost (or caring about different metrics than simply wins), I think everybody needs a confidence boost now and then. It’s when the manager accomplishes the task of building confidence/showing support for a pitcher, and then repeats it again and again for no good reason (see, Madritsch, Bobby — Aug/Sept 2004 edition), that I begin to cry “abuse.”

  32. Pete Livengood on August 21st, 2005 9:58 am

    Ooops. It’s early. Sorry about the messed up link tags. Here’s the link to my blog entry on the subject I was discussing:


  33. msb on August 21st, 2005 10:04 am

    #20–“Now we find out that Meche has had trouble with the knee on his push-off leg going back to last year! Furthermore, he was unable to run in pregame warmups any time recently without that knee swelling up. Despite this (and Meche’s occasional assurance that he had no pain) they kept running him out there every fifth day. Hargrove’s comment was that they “thought it would get better”.

    per Meche, via Drayer, the Ms came to Meche 3 weeks+ ago about shutting it down, and he declined, wanting to see if it would calm down with reduced running, etc. They weren’t ignoring it.

  34. Coach on August 21st, 2005 10:27 am

    msb, I think you missed a central point I was making. If you let the player make the evaluation, then you don’t really need the medical expert. At what point does an organization employ more sophisticated means to protect its assets?

  35. Shoeless Jose on August 21st, 2005 10:36 am

    Yes, and that’s a good point. Coupled with the quotes from Price where he seemed to think players with actual injuries were just being whiners, you have a situation where the players are afraid to report their injuries accurately and no one is evaluating them objectively when they do. That’s just a recipe for disaster.

    I’d love to see some proactive work here on the part of the time. There’s so much uncharted territory here, so much nobody really knows about what pitching does to the body, that they could be real innovators here. How about proactive MRIs of their throwing arms? Do one at the start of spring training, and another one at the end, to get a baseline. Heck, do one a month during the season, injured or not. At the very least if the pitcher comes up lame they could go back and see if there was anything they might have used to predict it. Just for research pick one day the guy starts and do one in the morning and another immediately after he comes out. Maybe it would all be a waste of time and money, but has anybody done this? Does anybody know what they would see? And of course MRI is just one tool; I’m sure there are other diagnostic techniques they could use to track health in a much closer, more objective way than they do now. They could talk to the UW or one of the other universities with a good sports medicine program: I’m sure there are a couple of PhD theses in there somewhere.

    And while we’re at it, a whole body scan of each player, pitcher or not, at the start of the season to get a healthy baseline might be useful too.

  36. msb on August 21st, 2005 10:37 am

    no, I saw what you were saying; the problem we have as bystanders is that we don’t know what has been done in these cases with medical examinations and how they have factored into the decisions, because they don’t tell reporters about every doctor visit…. all I was saying was that (without knowing who had examined the knee, and when) they were actually monitoring it and not just saying go out and tough it out.

    In the pregame I was heartened to hear Hargrove talk about pitch counts and how number of pitches thrown affects the following starts of a pitcher…

    He also mentioned Don Drysdale once was telling him that in his day the Dodger pitchers were expected to pitch all 9 innings, no matter how many pitches it took– and when Hargrove asked Don what the difference then & now was, that they could do that, Drysdale said it was because they had a multitude of minor league clubs and they would just pop in a new pitcher if they shredded an old one… Drysdale couldn’t even guess at just how many young pitchers they must have destroyed in those years.

  37. Coach on August 21st, 2005 10:56 am

    msb, I guess where you and I will have to agree to disagree is your assertion that “they were monitoring it”.
    In my view, they should have a database of biomechanical analysis done on any pitcher they consider an asset. In that case, were an inflamed knee to enter the picture, they would have a more objective means to explain to Gil that “hey, this is affecting your delivery and the stress being placed on your shoulder” as opposed to watching film and asking if anything feels different. As you have pointed out to me in the past, the shoulder is a complex joint and I have my doubts that the player can assess the impact caused by disruptions in other parts of the body over the course of time. If you tell me that they have such a body of biomechanical analysis in place, then I will agree that they were monitoring the situation.

  38. msb on August 21st, 2005 11:16 am

    I think the only person doing anything along those lines is Rick Peterson….

  39. Dave in Palo Alto on August 21st, 2005 1:40 pm

    The SF Chronicle sports section today corrected a past entry to note that Felix Hernandez DOES have a nickname, King Felix.

    Created here by the blog landlords, only time will tell whether the early moniker signaled great prescience, or whether it will be regarded as inventiveness on the order of Dr. Evil’s revolutionary use of two fingers of each hand to give visual support to quotation marks in a sentence.

  40. aurora on August 21st, 2005 1:42 pm

    In the OP, one point referred to was the argument that Grover was just trying to win the game by using his best pitcher.

    One problem with that argument is that it also assumes that Dobbs is the best DH the M’s have.

    The M’s have a lot of young players who project to hit between .240 and .280 with no power. But putting one at DH is not an indication that the M’s are going all out to win.

  41. Typical Idiot Fan on August 21st, 2005 3:54 pm

    DMZ, all you did was prove what I said.

    Hernandez didn’t throw more pitches then any other Mariner (starting) pitcher hasn’t alredy thrown this year. Felix threw about 114. As you pointed out, other Mariner pitchers have thrown more.

    Thats… what I was trying to say. So the idea that Felix threw a worrisome amount of pitches tonight is probably bunk. Other M’s pitchers have thrown that many or more and are fine…

    Relatively speaking.

  42. The Ancient Mariner on August 21st, 2005 4:30 pm

    Umm, a) all those pitchers are fully grown, and b) two of them are demonstrably not fine physically; so what does that leave of your argument? (Hint: nothing.)

  43. DMZ on August 21st, 2005 4:53 pm

    Maybe what you thought you said.

    What you said was

    Tonight, he reached a pitch count that is, basically, the max for most M’s pitchers this year. In other words, he hasn’t thrown more then Jamie Moyer or Joel Piniero have in any outting this year.

    The first part is clearly not true, which is what I was refuting. The max for M’s pitchers this year is a lot higher than 115.

  44. eponymous coward on August 21st, 2005 6:38 pm

    The M’s have a lot of young players who project to hit between .240 and .280 with no power. But putting one at DH is not an indication that the M’s are going all out to win.

    But the M’s don’t think that, obviously- otherwise they wouldn’t be thinking that Dobbs was a good DH.

    I think having Felix pitch the 8th would have been more questionable had his 21 pitch inning been the 7th instead of the 1st, and the score been 8-3 M’s instead of 2-2 tie.

  45. JOHNB on August 21st, 2005 9:42 pm

    I can’t think of any plausible reason the kid should throw 115 pitches this year in a game that means absolutely nothing long term. I am pretty sure that Hargrove and Price made the call on their own. If the kid is going to be an ACE he needs to be able to throw more than that, but he is only 19 years old, we can afford to patient, especially with our trac record concerning young phenom’s.

  46. Evan on August 22nd, 2005 9:07 am

    Right, because ace pitchers are never efficient guys who can complete games in under 100 pitches.

    Roy Halladay.

  47. Ralph Malph on August 22nd, 2005 10:21 am

    It’s interesting that some people on here have said that it’s not just pitch count, it’s innings pitched as well because of the warmup throws.

    Other people have said it’s not just pitch count, it’s high-pitch-count innings. Which is the exactly opposite, since that means fewer IP.

    Which is it?

  48. Ralph Malph on August 22nd, 2005 10:21 am

    My grammar is the exactly wrong.

  49. DMZ on August 22nd, 2005 10:21 am

    They’re not necc. exclusive.

  50. Ralph Malph on August 22nd, 2005 11:47 am

    I agree with that; it seems to me (with no evidence to base it on) that cruising through 8 innings with 115 pitches and not a lot of trouble along the way is probably easier than a Gil Meche-style 4 1/3 innings with men on every inning and 115 pitches. I wouldn’t think warm-up tosses are that big of a deal, and the fact that he threw 8 innings doesn’t worry me.

    Not to mention that the former is a lot less frustrating to watch.