Giants decided to prove Morrow better pick by destroying theirs

DMZ · September 14, 2008 at 10:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

For those of you tired of reading “M’s were amazingly stupid for drafting Morrow” comments that attempt to take over all conversation like so much kudzu, Tim Lincecum threw 138 pitches last night in a meaningless SF-SD game. 120 is about where you want to set the upper limit on how far a pitcher should be throwing: there’s a clear detrimental effect on their next start, and beyond that the injury risks are — well, they’re debatable, but there’s reason to believe throwing over 120 increases the chance a pitcher will go down. Individual results may vary, of course, and so on and so forth.

But if the Giants really are really going to grind him down in meaningless games, and that increases the chances he’ll get injured, we could well see him pick up the “fragile” and “not a game” labels soon, which would reduce the annoying chatter, but at the cost of his career. I have to hope the Giants come to their senses.


18 Responses to “Giants decided to prove Morrow better pick by destroying theirs”

  1. msb on September 14th, 2008 10:08 am

    Tim Lincecum threw 138 pitches last night in a meaningless SF-SD game.

    so, what– Bochy/Righetti are willing to let his arm fall off so that he can get a complete game and maybe beat Webb for the Cy Young?

    ooh, “138 pitches, the most in the majors this year, after he threw 127 last time and 132 on Aug. 27”. cool.

  2. DMZ on September 14th, 2008 10:24 am

    He’s #1 on the Pitcher Abuse Point leaderboard, if you put any stock in that.

  3. Adam S on September 14th, 2008 11:40 am

    No kidding (on PAP). He’s more than double the #3 guy on the list — Sabathia is the only guy who’s close. Looks like there have been only three starts all season where a pitcher threw more than 130 pitches — and two are by Lincecum in meaningless games.

    Amazing that managers put stock in individual stats and awards at the detriment of the team.

  4. SequimRealEstate on September 14th, 2008 11:54 am

    Gil Meche in the top ten? Did not expect that.

  5. vj on September 14th, 2008 1:30 pm

    The good news: none of our guys in the top thirty.
    I wonder: Why does Lincecum let them do this to him. It’s no secret that too much workload is a problem? At least his agent should tell him to take it easier, otherwise no big deal once free agency comes. Or could this be a case of a pitcher knowing his limits and these being quite high, in spite of his reputation?

  6. msb on September 14th, 2008 1:48 pm

    Lincecum’s response was “I’ve gotten up to 160 pitches before in college”

    from Jason Grey on ESPN:

    “. The 24-year-old has thrown the third-most pitches in the big leagues this season, trailing A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia.

    After his teammate Matt Cain, who is fourth on the list of pitches thrown, lost Thursday night, Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle that he and the staff would look into the workload of both Cain and Lincecum and see if an adjustment is necessary. Bochy said he and pitching coach Dave Righetti spoke Friday and decided to maintain the status quo.

    “If these guys feel fine, which they do, they’re going to pitch,” Bochy said.

  7. philosofool on September 14th, 2008 4:50 pm

    This sort of behavior on the part of a manager ought to be criminal. It’s horrible. My outrage is about to break through the screen you are looking at to burn your face with the fiery anger inside me. It would be one thing if Lincecum were a 34 year old man with a $100 million contract that, by all rights, should be set for life. But this is just playing Russian roulette with the second most promising arm in baseball, and they’re playing for a stake of zero.

  8. philosofool on September 14th, 2008 4:58 pm

    I wonder: Why does Lincecum let them do this to him. It’s no secret that too much workload is a problem? At least his agent should tell him to take it easier, otherwise no big deal once free agency comes. Or could this be a case of a pitcher knowing his limits and these being quite high, in spite of his reputation?

    Either his manager is forcing it, Lincecum is over and unnecessarily confident or he’s gunning for a Cy Young. Playing for a non-contender, he needs to have some major achievements before he’ll rack up the votes.

    Nevertheless, I think this is terrible management. Part of Bochy’s job is to make sure that he’s not destroying the team’s assets; at this point, injury risk is a serious part of what he should be thinking about as there is no chance of a playoff trip. Honestly, I wouldn’t let Lincecum toss more than 110 pitches if I had that job, and I wouldn’t let him start an inning with more than 95.

  9. galaxieboi on September 14th, 2008 5:48 pm

    Tim really doesn’t have a choice in how many piches he throws. The MLB fraternity does not look kindly upon some snot-nosed kid in his early 20’s telling his bosses how much he can throw.

    The abuse is criminal. Of course Timmy is going to say he feels fine. He’s already got to fight the ‘under 6’4″ and right-handed’ label. Get a hint, Bochy.

  10. Eastside Crank on September 14th, 2008 6:16 pm

    I was not happy with Morrow pitching the 8th even though he had a no-hitter going in his first outing. The chance of injury increases with tired arms trying to get critical outs. I am not a big fan of trying to get statistics at the cost of the arm but after seeing how the Giants are abusing Lincecum I will keep quiet.

  11. juneau_fan on September 14th, 2008 8:51 pm

    I’m down in Norcal working, and listen to the Giants games every day.

    Lincecum was pulled in a previous start at 120 pitches with the lead and had it immediately coughed up by their crappy bullpen. One of the radio personalities from KNBR, their flag station, was so enraged that he called and ranted for 5 minutes about how Lincecum isn’t made of china and should have been left in.

    Lincecum’s last start, he tried to complete the game, but got pulled after one batter in the ninth. The score was much closer in that game, though. This game, he batted in the 8th, up 3 nothing, and the Giants added 3 runs. Surely they thought their bullpen, even their horrible gas-tossing closer, could hold a 6 run lead–it was about the CG. They let him get two men on, then he managed to pump out a 95 MPH fastball for the strike out. OUCH!

    They, and I get the impression he, are really gunning for the Cy Young. It’s all they talk about on their radio station. There was a vague comment during today’s game that the 138 pitches was the most by any pitcher this year, but there’s been no criticism of the decision, and this isn’t’ a homer station.

    They feel as though he needs at least one complete game to compete with Brandon Webb, because he’s at 17 wins, while Webb is at 20. But I completely expect him to last only three innings his next start, he won’t get the Cy Young, and it’ll all be for nothing.

    The truly bizarre part of this attitude is, the Giants have lost plenty of pitchers to the falling off arm. They managed to let Jason Schmidt go before his fell off, or there would have been another one.

  12. msb on September 14th, 2008 9:27 pm

    Either his manager is forcing it, Lincecum is over and unnecessarily confident or he’s gunning for a Cy Young.

    I doubt Tim is going to think he can’t handle it, with his dad telling him and everyone else that he could easily throw 160+ every outing.

  13. Jeff Nye on September 14th, 2008 9:43 pm

    Ugh, don’t remind me.

    I read that article in SI (I got a few issues for free, I’d never pay for it) and it made me queasy.

  14. Gomez on September 14th, 2008 10:43 pm

    Lincecum also threw a lot of pitches in college at UW. 120-130 pitch starts were not uncommon. And then, after not icing his arm at all, he’d play catch with coaches and teammates the day after, often standing near each foul pole while playing catch, so this wasn’t soft toss at 60 feet.

    So I’m guessing Tim puts up with it because he doesn’t think or feel that it’s a big deal given his M.O. That doesn’t make it right, but that’s the perspective the Giants are dealing with.

  15. bigred on September 14th, 2008 11:08 pm

    I was in SanFran about a month ago, and heard the same ridiculous comments juneau-fan heard on the local sports radio station. This is clearly an example of the skipper caving to ignorant local media in an effort to save face with the fans.

  16. dnc on September 15th, 2008 1:13 pm

    As many have pointed out, Lincecum’s pitch counts at UW were astronomical. As a Husky fan, I was calling for coach Ken Knutson’s head throughout most of Lincecum’s tenure there. Tim’s control was twice as bad at UW, and hitters had less chance of hitting him anyway, so many would take, take, take, until his pitch counts were sky high. And Knutson did nothing.

    Rest assured, Lincecum’s high pitch counts in college had a lot to do with his fall to SF in the draft. Knutson cost Tim a lot of money.

    It appears Bochy is determined to do the same thing.

    Of course, there’s always the chance that TL is the winner of the genetic lottery and is somehow able to handle all this just fine. The odds are stacked heavily against that though, and taking the risk is just foolish on SF’s part.

    It’s a shame, too, because I love watching the kid pitch.

  17. Zero Gravitas on September 15th, 2008 2:17 pm

    Wow just saw this. This really bugs me even though I’m not a Giants fan. I have seen Lincecum pitch down there and it’s really exciting for baseball fans in general to have such a great young talent in the game. What they’re doing is risking one of MLB’s superstars of the future for absolutely no reason. There’s so much evidence that this is a bad practice, I find it hard to believe that they would allow 138-pitch counts in any regular season game, let alone with this kid. He’s a guy that they could build around if they were smarter. Now you have to worry about his arm falling off before Spring Training even gets here next year. Bochy is either brainless or gutless – there really isn’t any other explanation for this crap.

  18. Gomez on September 15th, 2008 2:44 pm

    I just had a thought.

    To anyone who’s watched Tim pitch in MLB a few times (I don’t have, or else I’d verify this myself): does he appear to labor and/or lose velocity/break on his pitches once he reaches the 110-120 pitch mark? I’d be a lot more worried if he was throwing the last 10-20 pitches of a 130 pitch start while gassed, than if he were running up that high because he felt fine.

    I remember, watching his first MLB start, that he got gassed around the 90 pitch mark and lost a ton of velocity, but it was also his first start and nerves were certainly a factor. When I watched him pitch at UW, he was usually able to maintain his pace and velocity right up to the end of his outings (though he often didn’t finish those outings: 7 inning starts were common due to his erratic control).

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