Why Did Wheeler Throw 114 Pitches In First Start?

zack wheeler

I’ve received two emails this morning asking me why Zack Wheeler was allowed to throw 114 pitches in Thursday’s 8-2 loss to the Washington Nationals – one short of his career high.

I couldn’t really tell you the exact reason why, but if I were to venture a guess I’d say it was because Terry Collins doesn’t trust his bullpen and also because he fears his offense can’t tack on runs.

Basically, the same two issues this team has suffered with over the last few seasons.

As to the first issue – the bullpen – in their first ten appearances this season, only one of them could be construed as good. The others were all bad. Shockingly bad.

bullpen

As to the second reason – the inability to tack on runs – the Mets have been outscored 22-4 after the first inning, through the first three games of the season. Hopefully, that changes, but this was not what anyone expected to see with the additions of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young over the Winter, the latter of which is already on the disabled list.

All three Mets starters (Gee, Colon and Wheeler) tossed 100 or more pitches in their first starts of the season, and while I don’t subscribe to babying pitchers, it was still surprising to see that so early in the season and especially with temperatures still so cold in New York.

But I do believe what we’re seeing is a lack of faith by the manager to go to his bullpen and a fear that his team can’t score runs later in the games. The combination of both is weighing heavily on Collins’ decision to go as long as he can with his starters even if he’s pushing it to their limits. And this is not exactly something Collins is unfamiliar with.  

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About Joe D 7835 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
  • nacho6

    For questions such as this, the answer has consistently been, and will be until something changes: “Because Terry Collins is a horrible manager”

  • Helloboy

    The management of this team from manager on up is a bunch of idiots.

  • agetting

    Doesn’t make any sense. Terry just hates young players…wants to destroy them

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    These are the resource gaps created when you have no money to pay for talent, plus no available resources in the minors.

    There is no cavalry coming for the bullpen if they don’t get it together, unless they bring up the young guns and use them (short-term) as relievers. Could be a ver-r-r-r-y long season….

  • Alex68

    From the owners all the way down to the captain….. this organization is just clueless that’s why he threw 114 pitches
    BTW, i am not as high on wheeler, never was… he throws a lot of pitches in 5 or 6 innings it seems..

  • JustSomeInternetGuyYouDontKnow

    Why is this even a question? He wanted 6 innings and got it. No reason to baby pitchers, they aren’t little leaguers. It’s 114 not 214.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Better question – Why did it take Wheeler 114 pitches to get through six innings? Of course the bullpen is the reason Collins lets them go. That’s pretty obvious.

  • CJM

    I did a rundown yesterday, before going to the bar, of pitchers who’ve thrown 100 pitches this year. As of yesterday afternoon, 26 pitchers have thrown 100 pitches in a game. 2 pitchers have thrown 114 pitches, which is the season high (Wheeler is one, I didn’t record names when doing this, so I don’t know the other pitcher). There’s also plenty of pitchers who’ve been stretched out in this first week–12 pitchers have thrown 105 or more pitches. Basically, what I’m trying to convey is that although in this day and age, 114 pitches seems like a lot, it’s not an absurd amount, even early in the year. TC is not the only manager willing to allow his starter to throw a lot.

    I’ve stated this numerous times, but there is no concrete evidence that high pitch counts lead to injuries. The fact is, even the best kinesiologists in the world who study pitching mechanics don’t know what causes pitching injuries.

    We all hope that Wheeler develops into an elite level pitcher. Well, elite level pitchers can generally throw a lot of pitches. Here’s probably the most extreme example: Justin Verlander, who averaged 105.6 pitches per game last year, and went over 120 four times. Verlander has proven to be one of the most durable pitchers in baseball, tossing 200 innings the last 7 consecutive seasons, and leading the league in IP 3 times. Obviously Wheeler is no Verlander, but 114 pitches, in perspective, isn’t insane.

    I’m all for protecting pitchers, even though teams really don’t know how to protect pitchers yet. I think it’s intelligent to try to protect such valuable assets. However, with no proof that high pitch counts lead to injury, I have no problem with a 114 pitch game.

  • Matlack

    One of the things Wheeler needs to do is locate better. Since last year, I’ve noticed that hitters are able to waste his pitches with 2 strikes. From his interviews, it’s clear that he’s aware of it, but he needs to put guys away earlier.

  • Metropolitan

    I myself did not have a problem with Collins allowing Wheeler throw 114 pitches

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    He just can’t overpower hitters or get a big strikeout. As far as I’m concerned, with the other pitching we have, he should be trade bait.

  • Buster

    I understand not trusting the bullpen, but that doesn’t mean they have to put the young arms at risk because Sandy again didn’t build the bull pen.

  • I have no problem with high pitch counts in and of themselves as I think you just need to watch your starter and get a sense of when he’s starting to lose it. My concern with TC and DW, is that they are all over the place and don’t seem to have any real rationale behind their decision making. There have been many times where they’ve given the axe to a guy that is still looking strong and they’ve kept guys out there when they had clearly lost it. People obsess over counts but it’s more important to have someone running the show that knows when to say when by knowing their pitchers, knowing the cues that they are getting tired and knowing how to manage them in general.

  • HillsideAve

    You are too kind, but I like the ‘resource gaps’ euphemism. The ugliness quotient is very high, and very early….even for this team. TC may have a new contract, but his pass expired once the infamous ’90 win challenge’ was ‘leaked’. The blueprint for the rest of the year will include a new manager after the remaining wheel falls off. Maybe it will be someone who can win a gunfight with a knife. I’m now watching our team with the same type of interest that comes with witnessing a car accident.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    All of Terry’s terrible instincts are going to be worsened as soon as he thinks he’s managing to save his job. He needs hazard lights and a warning label.

  • CJM

    Can you provide a study that shows high pitch counts put arms at risk?

  • I think high pitch counts will be somewhat frequent at this stage until he gets his command down. I think he’ll be a guy who gets through 6 or 7 innings with fewer and fewer pitches on the average over the next several years as he gets better..

  • Buster

    No, I can’t. But how many other pitchers this year have thrown that many pitches in their first game?

  • CJM

    Actually funny you should ask that because I gave a very long winded breakdown of 100 pitch games right below in this thread. One other pitcher has thrown 114 pitches, 12 pitchers have gone 105 and above, and 26 pitchers have thrown 100. TC is not the only person willing to stretch his pitchers out.

    *That’s as of yesterday afternoon. So last night’s games are not recorded in that breakdown.

  • There is a cavalry but unfortunately it looks like this.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    How long are you willing to let him be just a five to six inning pitcher? What’s “several years”?

  • CJM

    Uh, forever if he pitches those 5 or 6 innings well.

  • Flatbush0460

    I wouldn’t let Terry Collins manage my boiled peanut stand

  • metsman

    Collins needs to watch the Seinfeld episode where George does the opposite of all his natural inclinations and finally finds success.

  • As long as he continues to show the promise that he has shown all along. If he stays healthy, he will be a viable number 1 or 2 pretty quickly, if not this year. I’ll take these games along with the economical games he will sprinkle in to remind us of where he’s going.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Don’t see the point if that means you’re burning your bullpen every time he starts. He needs to give them more innings. We complain about Niese not throwing 200 innings. Wheeler will NEVER hit 200 innings by your standards.

  • metsman

    …and some prune juice.

  • Endy10

    bad bullpen + bad coach = overused starters. it used to be the other way around when the bullpen wasn’t that bad but the starters stunk

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    A guy who only throws 5-6 innings per start is no #1 or #2 starter.

  • I hate babying starting pitchers with pitch counts and often complain about early hooks. I had no problem with Gee or Colon, but I was surprised at Wheeler given age/career high pc/first start/cold temps.

  • Buster

    Yes, they do. You could be right, but why push him this early. Read you post, it’s very good. It just seems to me a little early to have him throw that many pitches.

  • I never said that I thought he’d throw 5 or 6 innings per start and I’ll bet you right here and now that he’ll have a couple of 8 or even 9 inning games under his belt within the next couple of months. This was one start. He’d be near the bottom of the list of players that I’d consider trading as he will only get better and I feel much better having him on our team.

  • CJM

    I was actually most frustrated with Gee being left in too long because throughout his career, he’s shown a propensity to get knocked around the third time through the order. He’s a pretty prototypical 4/5 starter in that sense–has a lot of trouble getting through the lineup a third time. History showed that he would be vulnerable in the 7th, even though he nearly escaped the inning. I don’t think age really has anything to do with the arm. Some guys get hurt, some guys don’t. Although we’re all obviously in the dark when it comes to pitching injuries. Anyway, we all hope that Wheeler becomes elite. To be elite he’s got to be able to buckle down and handle a high pitch count. Yesterday was good in that sense.

  • CJM

    And that’s fine if he can throw 180 decent innings a year. He won’t be an ace, but he can still be a rotation piece, just like Niese is a rotation piece.

  • CJM

    It seems early in the year because in perspective, it is early. The game has changed and 100 pitches has become the accepted standard of a lot. However, other managers being more cautious doesn’t mean having Wheeler throw 114 pitches was the wrong decision. Admittedly, it might not have been the right decision either. I guess what I’m getting at is we just don’t know.

  • Keith’s stache

    one of my favorite episodes.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    Bonus — he ends up on the Yankees!

  • ro7a

    Terry wont be around when all the arm surgeries happen to these guys so he figured what the heck.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    I’d be shocked if he averages more than 6 innings/start this season. That doesn’t impress me and it’s not a front of the rotation starter in my book. The Mets probably won’t have a starter throw 200 innings unless Gee does it.

  • Yes it was. I found it impressive how hard he was on himself even though he did pitch good enough to win. I like to see that kind of accountability in players. Next time he throws 114 however, I’d love for it to be through 7 or 8 innings rather than 6.

  • CJM

    Yeah. I wonder how fans would look at the 114 pitch count had Wheeler thrown a complete game shutout.

  • metsman

    He has to trust the bullpen. All joking aside, it’s not as bad as the first three games suggest…i mean ranking bullpens after 3 games in April is kind of silly…no, it’s ridiculous actually. Wheeler’s presence in a rotation with Harvey, Thor, Montero etc is more important than hedging Collins trepidation in the pen after 2 games. The pen might have a week were they dont give up a run, does that mean Collins will start taking starters out in the 5th? I’m just as disillusioned as the next fan, but a manager doesn’t have the luxury of overreacting to a few performances.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Its obvious to me…. they want Wheelers arm to fall off…smh

    Its funny how the Mets are so cautious with prospcets pitching limits but after only 1 season in the majors all thats out the window and they apply the “Nolan Ryan method” which is “What pitch count”.

    This regime cant seem to do anything right, I thought Alderson was brought here to fix things? Seems he is only mucking things up.

  • I dont know about other fans, but I would have been dancing in the streets.

  • Did the media ever ask Collins about Wheeler throwing 114 pitches? I would of liked to know what if anything was said. It definitely would of been a more interesting question than asking Collins about paternity leave.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Id rather Collins watch the episode where Costanza quits his job.

  • $14435385

    114 pitches for Wheeler, 111 for Colon in their first starts. Four pitchers in an inning on opening day. Niese throwing 98 pitches his first start back from being diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff last year.

    Terry just has no idea how to handle a pitching staff….I’m scared to see what he’ll do with the young staff coming up. Hopefully we’ll never know.

  • Flatbush0460

    Nothing to fear about any longer. Mike Baxter was optioned to AAA today by LA. I’m sure Sandy believes we could use another fifth outfielder

  • metsman

    Apropos of that episode, Collins does everything he can to get fired and doesn’t!!!

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    What media?

    Internet killed the media star(Video killed the radio star).

  • You’ve made quite a few conclusions/judgements on a guy that’s been in the majors for less than a year. Time will tell so the debate is kind of pointless.

  • CJM

    Yeah I’m sure he wants back the guy he cut.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    Not really a debate. You think he’s going to become a 1 or 2 starter this season that only throws six innings/start, which is a pretty low bar for a front of the rotation guy.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    How about the drastic decrease in Wheelers Fastball velocity as the game went along. Especially late

    Collins didnt flinch, but he does a great job using 3 relief pitchers per inning to get 3outs

  • I just got this email:

    Joe D. I am sick of all these sabremet charts you are putting on your site. Fierst it was your writers and now you!!! Doesnt anybody love real baseball anymore?

    LOL The funny part is that there’s nothing saber about that chart in this post at all. It just helped illustrate a point.

    Anyway, I thought you could all use a good chuckle. 🙂

  • You really are a troll. I never said that but if it makes you feel better, here you go. You win!!

  • Charley’s Twin

    ha those are facts

  • Sunshine

    I know. It’s definitely David Wright’s fault that Wheeler threw 114 pitches. What a shill.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    “… he will be a viable number 1 or 2 pretty quickly, if not this year.”

  • Alex68

    #TheCORE salute whoever sent you that email…. it’s getting real annoying, kind of insulting to real baseball fans.

  • JB

    Uh oh.

  • CJM

    Alex, is it impossible to be a real baseball fan while also analyzing advanced stats?

  • Sunshine

    Yes. He definitely needs to give more innings. However I think that may happen over time. Hopefully it happens over the course of the season and not over the aforementioned “several years”. However, I do understand that not every pitcher can duplicate the advancement Harvey made, but nevertheless, I expect more from Wheeler. No one needs a John Maine Jr.

  • HAHAHA ERA is sooooo sabr.

  • Matlack

    The thing is, he has the stuff to overpower them. I think he’s torn between trying to do that and pitching to contact to keep the count down.
    I like him a lot, but I wouldn’t be averse to a Wheeler trade if it improves the team.

  • I still think it’s amazing that you can love baseball and not love stats. How can you have one without the other?

  • Alex68

    No, my point is, they DON’T wanna use the regular stats like HR and RBI anymore.. it’s all about OPS and the other sabercrap they post here…

  • Sunshine

    I think the real issue is that it shouldn’t take 114 pitches to complete 6 innings. The point is, that if Wheeler can’t make adjustments and is a “6-inning pitcher” as some are speculating, then he cannot be considered “elite” if he can’t make those adjustments.
    That said, Its April, its been one start and he’s young. There will be ups and downs along the way. I, for one am still interested in his potential, while others have officially labeled him “trade bait” – after ONE start.

  • Helloboy

    Collins over manages. He also loses faith in people really, really fast. of course, this results in a self-fulfilling prophecy. The fact they have added Farnsworth shows how clueless they are. There really is no decision making going on. You have one guy here by default and now a second by default to begin with. Yet, more serviceable guys are available on the waiver wire every day recently. This organization is so lost. Sandy is out of touch and does not understand modern baseball. Collins is going to cripple these guys.

  • Sunshine

    Me neither. I was disappointed Wheeler took 114 pitches to complete 6 innings.

  • Alex68

    Baseball = Real actual game played on the field for people who know how to play the game
    Sabermetrics = anybody with a computer (despite never ever grabbing a baseball bat or a base ball)

    see the difference!?

  • I like the addition of the Pitch FX data. In particular the pitch type, velocity, Count, Strikes, Swings and Whiffs columns.

  • Yea…. that’s incorrect.

  • JB

    When I was a kid, I used to spend hours studying the back of baseball cards because I couldn’t get enough of the sport.
    After spending five hours to get to Citi on Monday, and another six hours watching from home the next two days, plus I am going back down tonight, for some reason I always look for more ways to learn about the Mets and the game.
    There are people who don’t watch, and use stats as their crutch. But not everyone. If we can gleam a little bit more about a player than reading straight-forward stats, why not?

  • Sad, isn’t it?

  • Hang on, I’m trying to reply to you, but I have to clear my desk from all these saber charts and moneyball books first. LOL

  • Don’t know if you been there but found a cool site where you can data mine situational things like, Ike Davis vs. Strasberg and get each outcome for every AB. Pretty cool

    http://pitchfx.texasleaguers.com/

  • Agee’s Catch

    I don’t mind stats I can measure with the naked eye. wOBA kills me. Who decided that a non intentional walk was worth less than a HBP? And do you get more or less for an intentional walk? If you receive and IBB, it’s usually out of respect.

  • WilponsStinkLessNow

    And to stay off the spray tan

  • Mike

    It’s ridiculous he did the same to Harvey last yr. 125 p gm vs marlins in 5th gm if season. He routinely left harvey out there too long all yr. Now he’s doing the same with wheeler who was clearly gassed and u can tell he looked up at the scoreboard after he was done to see his pitch count. Idk what this front office is smoking letting this clown ruin these arms so he can save his job. Fire Terry Collins today!

  • As to your reading the back of baseball cards point, I was exactly the same growing up. I would have family members quiz me. 🙂

  • Alex68

    HA! Very funny….
    (Not)
    You’ve changed and let your site change a lot by allowing all these saberlosers write for you and somehow convince you that sabermetrics etc are good ways to describe the baseball game… #FO|-/

  • No I didn’t know of this site. Bookmarked. Thanks.

  • Agee’s Catch

    ….we can’t delete we’ve gone too far

  • It’s a little hard through their interface to get some stuff so I leveraged google by entering “Ike Davis vs. Strasberg texas leager” and got exactly what I needed.

  • Andrew Herbst

    I think TC will wear out Wheeler’s arm by the end of the season. He doesn’t know how to manage pitch counts.

  • Agee’s Catch

    Schneck, I agree, but not first week of the season. Maybe by the third or fourth start, when it warmer and the pitcher is stretched out a bit more.

  • Nolrog

    I’ve been asking this for 2 days myself. There is absoltuely no reason to have your young pitcher throw this many pitches in game 1. Collins had Harvey out there a few times into the 120s and times when he was clearly out of gas. I firmly believe that this contributed to his arm injury. Now we are going to sit here and watch it happen to Wheeler as well.

  • Peter S

    Yet the same people will be complaining that the bullpen is burnt out come August. 114 pitches is not that high. The problem is that he needs them to get through 6 innings. If the Mets starters don’t pitch past the 6th, this bullpen will be destroyed by August.

  • Alex68

    If you receive and IBB, it’s usually out of respect.”

    or because the pitcher is hitting after you… or if it’s Luis Castillo or Ruben Tejada.. it depends the hitter and the situation i guess…

  • gameball

    Terry has to manage the team he’s given. He CANNOT be stretching out the starters because he feels he can’t trust his pen. That way lies disaster and injury.

  • Alex68

    ACE?!?!? Sorry, wheeler has #3 at best written ALL OVER HIM…. He’s John Maine with better stuff imo

  • Peter S

    I actually deleted that remark but saved it too late because I just realized how ridiculous tha sounds call him him an ace.

  • Nolrog

    If that’s the case, then they sould have another guy in the pen instead of two redundant guys to play first.

  • agetting

    exactly

  • Peter S

    They might need more than 13 guys.

  • dealingwithidiots

    Real baseball fans…………….you so funny

  • JB

    At the risk of getting too stat-y. Since 2000, when a Mets pitcher has made at least 110 pitches, the team is 225-111. There can be a lot of reason to that. It is more likely you keep your better pitchers in the game longer, it means the starter is deep in the game so likely pitching well, etc. Of course, that leaves aside the long-term implications. But interesting to point out nontheless.

  • TexasGusCC

    Terry Collins is only worried about Terry Collins, and always has. He doesn’t care about the future because he figures he won’t be around to see it.

    While we all see that, so do his bosses but allow him to keep doing his job so they are ok with it. For the Mets to evolve into a real MLB organization, they need to nurture the future, not crap on it. Everyone from the owner down is a money grabber. Good luck there.

  • Peter S

    But he also needs to manage his bullpen and wheeler is 24. A 114 pitches should be his normal target. And it was 66 out yesterday and felt a lot warmer than that in the sun.

  • DKNOKOZ

    John Maine all over again with better stuff

  • Peter S

    In fairness that numbered was skewed by Al Leiter and his normal 140 pitches lol. But I agree with you. 110 should be the minimum for a starter, and more importantly, he should be pitching 7 innings every time out unless it’s a blowout in either direction.

  • Fast Eddie

    You have hit that nail squarely on the noggin. Pitch count totals are just numbers; in and of themselves the don’t tell an accurate story. More revealing would be an inning- by-inning summary of pitches thrown to get three outs. A 15-pitch inning (5.0 pitches per out) would indicater a very effective inning for the pitcher. A total of 18 pitches (6.0 PPO) is mediocre; anything approaching 7.0 PPO (21 pitches) is flirting with disaster.

    To continue, yesterday Wheeler threw 114 pitches to get 8 outs over six innings, which comes to 6.33 PPO, on the down side of mediocre. I believe most of us would agree that it was not a stellar performance by Zach, but acceptable (I.e., it would qualify as a quality start, a dubious distinction).

    To evaluate a starter’s effectiveness, we should look to his pitch count in 15-pitch intervals, inning by inning. A really effective performance would conform very closely to the following totals over nine frames:

    15-30-45-60-75-90-105-120-135. = 5.0 PPO

    This is not a precise measure, merely a guideline. An end-of-inning total within three pitches of the optimum number is still valid.

    As a hurler tires, he is likely to see his PPO rise steadily, which could be a sign that he he is running on empty and will soon need relief. I believe this phenomenon was on display in the season opener with Dillon Gee. He was in total control (except or one gopher ball) through six innings. In the seventh his control wavered and his pitches started climbing in the strike zone. In the seventh Dillon was using quite a few more pitches to get three outs than he had been up to that point. We all know what happened after that. No one knew that the bullpen would throw gasoline on the fire that Gee started, but with perfect hindsight we can say that Terry would have been better off staying with Gee.

    Veloz

    Veloz

  • Metropolitan

    anybody watching Francesa on Fox 1? Joe From Oceanside is my new hero! He was spot on

  • Alex68

    Lmao, no harm done peter… we were told he was gonna be a CY Winner, so i understand where you coming from..

  • Peter S

    What about the pitchers in the bullpen? If the bullpen has to come in to start the 6th every game, that would be 648 innings thrown by relievers, not including extra innings. Assuming a 7 man bullpen that is 92.5 appearances per guy. Let that settle in for a minute. Ok, the Mets would have no bullpen by August 1st.

  • Charley’s Twin

    no. what did he say? hopefully he tore ownership a new one.

  • Alex68

    Lol, i didn’t see this.. but i posted the same up above… a #3 at best, maybe depodesta was talking about Wheeler when asked about montero…

  • That’s a great stat. A .670 winning percentage.

  • Agee’s Catch

    Because you or I don’t like them doesn’t make them unusable.

  • Peter S

    You mean AJ Burnett part deux?

  • Nolrog

    Heh. Yeah, that’s true. But Terry would still fill find a way to get all 13 of them into the same game.

  • Chuck

    Good call on the reasons, Joe D. What a shame … I thought we had a shot at a good BP this year, but so far the results are staggering, to say the least. And Farnsworth? What’s up with that? Dice K would make a much better choice for the BP than Farnsworth. I won’t even mention some of the young pitchers we could be trying out at the MLB level, but we’re not.

  • Peter S

    Justin Verlander routinely throws above 110. And he throw 99. Give me a break. I would take Harvey at 110 pitches over anyone in that bullpen in a big spot.

  • Peter S

    He over managed by leaving his 24 year old starter in a game that was within reach. Only to watch the bullpen implode again as soon as he took him out. Yup classic over managing.

  • I understand now, thanks! BRB gotta go flush my eyes out with cold water.

  • Alex68

    HE DID…. he was going offffffffffff….. lol

  • Charley’s Twin

    GOOD!

  • Charley’s Twin
  • jjong

    What did he said. Sorry

  • TPT

    so true like how many times does a manager go with the stats and brings in a pitcher to face a batter because the batter is 1-11 with 6 Ks lifetime against the pitcher and then the batter proceeds to hit a 3 run walk off homer..yep the game is played on the field

  • BCleveland3381

    Joe, stop using our bad bullpen ERA to back up your comment about how bad our bullpen is.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    I dont know how to take this comment.

    But my answer to your question is, easy.

    When I was a kid I could care less about stats but I LOOOOOVED playing and watching baseball and counting stats didnt factor in at all.

    With that said MOST people HATE math…Math is probably the most hated course in highschool and college.

    I could see why a Lover of math would love baseball because it lends to their passion(numbers) but a typical baseball fan or someone who enjoys playing could care less about stats.

    Mookie Wilson was loved here as a Met, just as much as Darryl Strawberry who had far better stats. The point im trying to make is we didnt need stats to love Mookie as much as the Straw. We loved the way he played. His hustle, fundamentals his style etc. things that dont come up on the stat sheet.

    Baseball was loved and played before stats were introduced to it.

    The overboard stats take away from the game…guys like Ozzie Smith wouldve never made the impact he did if stats were as prominent in his time. He wouldve been a career backup MI

  • Alex68

    you so funny”

    THIS^^

  • BehindTheBag

    So you were the one who sent the e-mail. 🙂

  • Peter S

    Were the Mets losing by 6 runs when Wheeler came out to pitch the 6th? NO. Were they losing by 6 runs when the bullpen tookover? That would be a yes. Case closed. That is why Collins left him in there.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    Imagine if you removed Pelfrey’s 4-inning starts from those numbers.

  • SaberMets

    Look at Harveys 2013 stats: He started 26 games and pitched 178.1 innings=6 and 2/3rd per start. So, if wheeler can average 6 2/3 would you say he is a 1 or 2?

  • TPT

    ANY PREDICTIONS FOR TONITES GAME? i say 4-3 Mets Murphy goes long TDA gets 2 hits and a RBI

  • Charley’s Twin

    prediction. I will be doing something much better than watching Mets baseball. I might just stare at the wall instead.

  • TPT

    hahahaha ok i dont blame you im just trying to be optimistic MMO is more fun when we give kudos to our players …this is sooo dreadful right now

  • Peter S

    Here is my solution to the pitching limits of today:

    Send Wheeler, Gee and Colon out for Game 1. Have them each go 3 innings.

    Niese, Mejia and Dice K go in game 2, 3 innings each.

    Montero, Thor and deGrom (Harvey next year) in 3. 3 innings each

    Skip each pitchers “throw” day and repeat the cycle. Just like in the all star game, each pitcher can go full throttle for a limited time. Keep 3-4 relievers for blowouts and fillers.

    162 games means there is 54 turns for each cycle. Total amount of innings for each starter: 164.

    Now you don’t have to worry about pitch or innings limits.

  • Alex68

    No…. but i applaud whoever sent it… it was spot on…

  • BCleveland3381

    My wife wants to go to Target and get my son some new bedding. I couldn’t even argue watching the Mets was better.

  • TPT

    hey WHY NOT ??? im all for it

  • Charley’s Twin

    ha i was just being a smarta$$ hopefully they give us something to cheer about sometime soon.

    SNY should just show Vegas when Thor/Montero is pitching. I bet their ratings would go up.

  • Matlack

    One of the best posts I’ve read on here, because of its honesty. As an old-school guy(played the game, collected baseball cards, couldn’t wait for ‘Baseball Digest’ in the mailbox) who really likes the newer, advanced stats, I can appreciate this perspective.

    The thing is, nobody is taking away anybody’s love for the visual and emotional aspect of the game. The SABR stuff is just a better way of slicing and dicing production. It’s true value is for the executives who have to make multi-million dollar decisions based on probability and production. If we fans had the databases and computing power necessary, SABR, in my view, would’ve been readily established a century ago the way HR, RBI, and ERA were.

    Anyway, Leroy, I appreciate your honesty. There’s always gonna be room for baseball lovers to continue to enjoy the game. Strawberry’s long, elegant swing and Ozzie’s gymnastics are visually timeless in the mind of the fan.

  • gameball

    OK, I’m not taking issue with the 114 pitches. I think it’s just something to watch out for.

    My feeling is that if you think your starter might not make it through the next inning, then you should be getting a reliever ready to start that inning.

    Whenever I see a starter removed in the middle of the 6th or 7th inning, I count that as a minor failure on the part of the manager.

  • I understand what you’re saying and would respond this way. I think the fan issue is one thing and that using stats to analyze performance is another. When I watch a game I’m a fan who loves my team, players and the pastime. But after a game I also love crunching numbers. Of course I also love to use all the info I can get when comparing players. I love Mookie a lot more than I do Straw, because that’s the fan in me.

    However, if I was choosing between the two to build a team, I take Strawberry. That’s where stats come in.

    So you can love the game and stats jointly because the passion and analysis go hand in hand.

  • muskytoes

    Let’s put all the young starters in the bullpen. That fixes the pen, plus saves their precious pitch and innings counts. Promote Dice-K and just have him and Colon alternate as the sole starters. Pitch them to death. If they falter or claim injury just inject them with the bovine PEDs that’ve fueled Colon the past several years. I think both can go 500+ IP this season.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    No. If Wheeler can’t get into the seventh almost every start, that’s not a 1 or 2 to me. Sorry, but same for Harvey. If it is, then he’s a far cry from other #1’s like Kershaw and Verlander.

  • BCleveland3381

    A lot of talk on Sabermetrics on here. There is no question Sabermetrics have gotten ridiculous. The one statistic that stands out above all else is WAR. Ive seen people argue how great a player is and use WAR as their only statistic to back it up. I doubt anyone even knows how WAR is calculated.

    The reason for that is there is no one way to calculate WAR. Fangraphs, baseball reference, and baseball prospectus all use different forumulas to calculate WAR.

    I think WAR(and all Sabermetrics) have their place in baseball, as tools that can be used to help scout, rate, and judge players. But the focus on them as the main(and sometimes only) method of doing this is ridiculous.

  • gameball

    We may be confusing cause and effect with that stat.

    Maybe the team isn’t winning BECAUSE the starter throws more pitches. Maybe a higher pitch count is often a by-product of of a good outing.

  • DrewC

    The Rockies tried something similar and it was absolute mess.

  • JB

    I said that exact point above.

  • RyanF55

    I think he pitched 114 because he was the best option…if I was managing i know I wouldn’t want to turn to that pathetic bullpen either.

  • Alex68

    Lol, i’ll be happy with a burnett type career….

  • Hodges14

    Pitch counts are not a one size fits all proposition. Setting an arbitrary 100 pitch limit for all pitchers is ridiculous. The manager and pitching coach should get a feel over time for when a pitcher starts to fatigue. Even then he may still be a better option than the Mets wretched bullpen.

  • Hodges14

    Loved when Baseball Digest was delivered to the house.

  • Hodges14

    Niese has the durability of a wet kleenex… doesn’t matter what you do with that guy, he’s most comfortable on the DL. Colon has been pitching since Babe Ruth was playing… he knows better than anyone when he’s finished for the day.

    Babying pitchers is not working. We are seeing guys blowing their arms out all around the league. You might as well get whatever you can out of them before they get hurt. I haven’t see any evidence that throwing less pitches or less innings is saving anyone from injury. For all we know it’s the exact opposite and throwing more may be safer.

  • BCleveland3381

    I said in yesterday’s thread and I’ll say it again. I don’t care at all about pitch counts or innings limits. I’ve never seen anything that showed either is dangerous for a pitcher. I think some guys can throw 140 pitches a game and be fine, while some can only throw 80 or 90 before fading. I think teams should pitch guys until they’re tired. That’s when they need to come out of games. This cookie cutter approach to everything in baseball is annoying.

    Now, you could say Wheeler was gassed going into the 6th. But I don’t even think that was the problem. I just don’t think he had it yesterday.

    I have nothing but my eyes and memory to back this theory up about Matt Harvey but hear me out. I think Terry Collins ruined Harvey. Not because of innings or pitch limits exactly, but because he left him in seemingly EVERY game when he was gassed. How many times did Matt Harvey dominate 5 or 6 innings and then battle through one more where maybe he got out of a jam or gave up a run and you thought to yourself “Great game Harvey”, thinking he was done just to see TC send him out for another inning when was OBVIOUSLY gassed? I really believe that does way more damage to a pitcher than following cookie cutter protocol with innings limits or pitch counts.

  • SaberMets

    So Harvey was not a #1 but Verlander was??

    Hate to tell you this but Verlander pitched 218.1 innings last year in 34 starts or 6 1/3 per start. So Verlander is not a #1 either according to your logic.

    Kershaw averaged 7 1/3 per start…he won the CY Young and was the best pitcher in baseball. He was the ACE of the ACES….

  • Peter S

    I doubt they did what I’m suggesting. The key reason why the mets can do it is because of the studs in their system. They can start this now. They have another cycle comin in Tapia, Yara, Matz. Lol it’s something I’ve been saying for years, and thought this would be a fun way to hear people’s opinions.

  • Peter S

    In the words of Clubber Lang:

    http://youtu.be/Z1TxiVhrkZA

  • Peter S

    Hahahahahahahahaha I literally just laughed out loud. Thank you for that!

  • Peter S

    This does hurt. I agree.

  • Peter S

    100%

  • Peter S

    No you wouldn’t. Lol

  • BCleveland3381

    But what happens when you send Wheeler out for the first game and he’s got his A stuff. Then you pull after 3 perfect innings and Gee doesn’t have his best stuff? Guys aren’t always on their game every start and mixing and matching just to fit a system to keep players under pitch limits seems like it would be a disaster.

  • gameball

    Yeah, guess you did.

  • Peter S

    It’s going to happen in a regular game no matter what. If wheeler has his “a” stuff, he still gives way to the bullpen 32 out of 33 starts. It would take a lot of discipline but I think they could dominate for 9 innings more often than starter A goes 6 innings, and bullpen pitches the next 3.

  • Manager of The Year

    That may be true but not everyone is Verlander. Other guys may not have it in them to pitch that much routinely. Verlander is one of the best pitchers in the game right now don’t compare him to young pitchers like Harvey and Wheeler

  • Ryan5757

    Would be tough to stay with that blueprint for a NL team when the pitchers spot comes up to bat.

  • Mike

    First gm of the year tho! These kids haven’t been pitching for 6 yrs like jv. That’s fine keep straining these arms keep stretching their pitch counts and pretty soon we’ll have gen k all over again

  • Matt Mosher

    Jisus H Chripes…..Young leading off AGAIN.

  • Alex68

    Ok, so based on what i have read about wheeler, in conclusion he’s not the CY Winner we thought he’d be… i saw John Maine and Burnett comparision a lot so… guess that’s his ceiling and floor….

  • Mike Lloyd

    “Well Matt…we gotta get him going”

  • Alex68

    #90Wins

    Lmao, matt, may i suggest you go and see that Captain America movie tonight… it’ll be more entertaining than watching this crapfest

  • Mike

    Well then ur gonna have another pitcher sidelined with serious injury with that mentality what’s more important developing there pitchers and protecting their arms for yrs of success or worrying more about winning a few gms in a widely regarded mediocre team and year

  • Alex68

    Jajajajajaajajajajajajajajajajaajaja, Mike, as always, #TheCORE salute you!!!!!!!!!

  • VfJ

    this is a scary, offensive team…

  • FalseHustle

    Where have you seen a sabr person say that WAR is the ONLY way they evaluate a player? A common misconception among people who refuse to attempt to understand these statistics is that the people who follow them ignore everything else. I hear a lot of anti-sabr people (not necessarily you, but in general) yelling that those who subscribe to these stats don’t truly understand baseball, and don’t care about the value of scouting. I’ve never actually seen a sabr-person say either of those things, so I wonder why those arguments are so common.

    WAR is a composite statistic, as I’m sure you know. It’s an all-things-being-equal measurement of overall value. It’s one of the best single stats out there if you simply want to get an idea how good a player is, without knowing why they are good. NOONE in the sabr community thinks it’s the be-all-end-all. It’s simply one of many tools they use in determining value.

    Again, as I’m sure you know, the reason Fangraphs and Baseballreference compute WAR differently is because each uses a different method to determine fielding value. If that makes you skeptical, then look at oWAR only. It’s fine to say it’s not your cup of tea, but completely discounting a statistic or methodology that is complicated or user-unfriendly is simply backward thinking.

  • azulnaranja

    I’ve thought the same thing! You could mix and match styles (fireballer followed by junkballer followed by another flamethrower) so that the hitters never get comfortable. It needs a team that has been bad for a long time to try something so novel. I thought that the Pirates might be the ones, but now they’ve gone and ruined it by being (somewhat) successful. I’d love to see the Mets try it.
    You know who would hate it? The agents!

  • FalseHustle

    No, Ozzie would have been a starting shortstop. Just as Lagares will ultimately be a starting centerfielder.

  • FalseHustle

    So you think you know baseball?!

  • FalseHustle

    I played baseball through college, and I’m a sabr fan. Sorry you have trouble understanding it, though.

  • Sitting in the stands watching the rain fall with nobody on the field or at the plate would be better than watching this team right now

  • Eyeball

    At first glance, I really like this. If you alternate righty/lefty/righty each game, it would minimize pitch counts and thwart opposing platoons.

  • BCleveland3381

    Ken Davidoff didn’t vote Mike Piazza into the hall of fame two years ago because he said his WAR and JAWS numbers were lower than other candidates and then ADMITTED he didn’t even understand the statistics or how they were calculated.

    He later admitted he was wrong and put Piazza on his ballot this past vote, but lets not act like people don’t overvalue sabermetrics.

  • FalseHustle

    Dang kids with their sabermetrics! In my day we used to pretend to agree with people only to shock them at the last second by yelling NOT! That was twenty years ago, when we cared about real stats like wins and saves!

  • AmazinAgain

    Maybe TC and Worthen want someone to babysit Harvey on the Tommy John DL bandwagon? What I cannot understand is why doesn’t Sandy and ownership dictate to TC a pitch limit. TC is just trying to survive and will abuse the SPs — I know he isn’t consciously doing that, but it’s blatantly obvious to everyone. He killed Harvey last year and looks like Wheels is next …

  • Eyeball

    The problem with a number of pitching prospects the pitcher often becomes predictable the 2nd or 3rd time through the order. This pretty much eliminates that and gives pitchers a clear target for the game.
    Unfortunately, I’m not sure any pitcher on Earth wants to be part of this type of rotation because it will crush his contract. Owners will love it because it will minimize the cost of a pitcher.

  • FalseHustle

    I remember that, of course. That’s more of a black eye for Davidoff than the sabr community I think, but I applaud that you had a counter example at the ready. I honestly couldn’t think of one instance where I had heard a sabr person talk about scouting being worthless.

    It was a silly decision that I’m sure he recognizes as silly. But the point remains that WAR is an excellent tool that should be taken as a (pretty big) piece of an overall picture. All in all, I feel that the anti-sabr crowd is much louder and combative than those who followed the new-fangled stats. I guess they think that the rest of the baseball fans will eventually catch up with them.

  • Matlack

    Naah, just a nerd with a computer ; )

  • skyking26

    Wheeler takes full responsibility for losing but we all know who the bonehead is that left him in too long for 114 pitches. Great way to lose another to Tommy John.

  • Eyeball

    Right on – there are certain guys who run out of gas or noticeably get worse results after 100 pitches (or less). Many guys actually get better as the game goes on.
    I’m not sure how it originated, but it became easy to say “Pitcher was cruising. But he hit 100 pitches and needed to be removed.”
    I first remember this with Pedro – if you could get him over 100 pitches, you stood a better chance.

  • Peter S

    Te point I’ve been waiting to argue…

    The strategy extends to the minors. You need to keep a stable of 9 starting caliber pitchers. However, none of them are going to make 25m a year. You keep them through arbitration years but also you can bring them up quicker…in other words, they get major league money faster. In order to keep that stable, you draft pitchers every year. You use your free agent dollars on bats, bats and more bats. Plus you look for the pitchers coming off injury to supplement the staff. Why does a rookie want to sign up for this? Two reasons, 1 he gets to the show faster. And two, he hits FA faster and with very little wear and tear (maybe, but def faster).

  • FalseHustle

    Sitting in your mother’s basement, probably. Damn nerds. 🙂

  • Peter S

    Read my response to this above. The pitcher has no say in it as he is under team control for several of the years.

  • Peter S

    Actually I disagree. The agents would love it because their players would reach FA quicker and would have very limited innings. Keep in mind, if this works, you can still pay the top guys of need be as starters, why not?

  • Eyeball

    With a few exceptions, the NFL has managed to turn running backs into a commodity based upon touches.
    I can see this as a way to commoditize pitchers.

  • Matlack

    That you, Joe Morgan???

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    You might want to check out Ozzies stats. The 1st 7yrs of Oz’s career he made Ruben Tejada seem like Miguel Cabrera.

  • Tlagee

    While he’s not the first pitcher to throw 114 pitches in his first start ( hell, it use to be the norm) he is probably one of a select few who has done it with a bullpen that sucks so bad.
    We have Sandy to thank for that.
    This is not on Terry.

  • TJ

    Collins has no bullpen. These young starters really need to learn to be more economical with their pitches. 6 innings giving up 3 runs and throwing 114 pitches is not a quality start regardless of that dopey stat. Also, walking a minor league #8 hitter to start an inning with a lead is a major no no. Hopefully Wheels will learn from this start.

  • calamityfrancis

    george is getting very upset!

  • calamityfrancis

    how dare joe use a chart!

  • Tacohow

    Since sandy has taken over the mets have the second worst bullpen ERA wise in the national league (in Omar’s last year they were 5th). He has done nothing to improve it…and shock of shocks they are terrible again.
    With hard pitch counts and a young starting rotation you would think they would put an emphasis on building a strong bullpen. Nope! Alderson gives Collins nothing, and Collins will start burning out our young arms. Beautiful!

  • 114 is lot of of pitches, but it’s not ridiculous, first start or not. Wheeler kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win. This bullpen we had hope for and Mets blinders for…these jokers might be the worst in the MLB if they don’t start turning it around soon.

  • wwdwd

    Why why the hell does this have to be my favorite team majia is going to pitch a gem 2 nite but with ey leading off were gna have no offense nd the bullpen is guarentted to give up 4 runs but hey atleast its t shirt friday

  • wwdwd

    They wont

  • Peter S

    I like how you phrase it that way.

  • Fast Eddie

    I think you’re absolutely right. I remember several such incidents of Collins overusing Harvey last year.

    Veloz

  • Peter S

    First off the mets have probably 11 or so “competent” starters in the system. So for the next 4-6 years they already have the pitchers they need. And remember they only have to go 3 innings so the “tweeners” have a shot they never really had as a traditional starter. Also I know guys are leaving as soon as they become FA. So I am focusing my draft on college aged starters who have the makeup to be plugged in within a year or two (think Harvey type promotions). The money I save by not giving Harvey 10 years $200m, I can use on FA bats. Plus, I’m banking on this working so there won’t be backlash in the system.

  • Peter S

    Not really because they are coming out of the game no matter what after 3. I’m sure there would be a fee hiccups but no different than when your Ace is dealing and you are losing 2-0 with bases loaded and 2 out in the bottom of 6th.

  • Peter S

    Same

  • whensly

    I think TC is trying to get his pitchers into the minset that they have to be ready to pitch complete games or at least past the 5-6th innings. Without any middle relief starters have to go a little further. Time to stop counting pitches and go by inn gs snd if the guy us gassed or up for it. Thst is until they can find some Bullpen help

  • mikeyknows

    Stop babying these guys. Let him pitch. Besides he didn’t pitch in a week. He well rested.