Edmonds was probably close to correct in his estimate that Flaherty had thrown 15 “non-competitive” pitches out of 75. Think about that.
In today’s baseball, a pitcher, particularly a young promising pitcher, rarely throws more than 100 pitches in a game. A “quality start” is considered pitching six innings without yielding more than three runs. I think that standard is ridiculously low, but that’s a column for another day.
Edmonds didn’t say this, but it’s an also an important part of the “non-competitive pitch” equation. After watching two pitches well outside the strike zone, the advantage now shifts to the hitter. The guy standing there with the bat knows the onus is now on the pitcher to throw strikes.
The hitter can now look for his pitch.
Baseball has always been a numbers driven game, now more than ever. It’s a given that the best hitters fail 66 percent of the time. So, why shouldn’t pitchers facilitate that failure rate? And, by eliminating all the “non-competitive” pitches, perhaps pitchers won’t hit that 100-pitch mark until the seven inning or later.
And, Edmonds also commented on today’s hitting philosophy.
At one point in the game the Cardinals put a runner on second with nobody out. Tyler O’Neill came to the plate and struck out, swinging, at a ball in the lower outside corner of the strike zone. As is prevalent in today’s game, O’Neill took a hefty cut at the ball.