100 Pitch Pitcher
One thing that keeps coming up when people look at the deal between the Mets and Pedro Martinez is the fact that everyone believes he is a 100 pitch pitcher. I heard it again recently with a radio talk show host basically saying, "the deal is good, but Pedro is still a 100 pitch pitcher who'll go five or six innings." The year is 2004 and not 1910 when the pitcher that started the game was the pitcher that finished the game. The game has evolved so that 100 pitches has been made the standard for when coaches start thinking about pulling their pitchers. Basically, everyone is a 100 pitch pitcher these days so they notion that Pedro is a 100 pitch pitcher is essentially right I guess, but then everyone needs to be talked as if they were a 100 pitch pitcher. I've detailed Pedro's pitch counts here already, but I wanted to take a look at Pedro's pitch count vs. the rest of the leagues pitchers. I wanted to see how he ranks up against the guys labeled as workhorses and the other aces in the league.
Pedro threw 105.8 pitches per game in 2004. His PPG topped Randy Johnson, who threw 103.8 PPG, Mark Buehrle who threw 105.6 PPG, Ben Sheets who threw 105.4 PPG, Roy Oswalt who threw 102.1 PPG, Johan Santana who threw 100.8 PPG, Mark Mulder who threw 99.9 PPG, Carl Pavano who threw 101.8 PPG, Roger Clemens who thre 104.0 PPG, Bartolo Colon who threw 100.1 PPG, Russ Ortiz who threw 102.1 PPG, Jake Westbrook who thre 98.9 PPG, Javier Vazquez who threw 100.3 PPG, Oliver Perez who threw 104.5 PPG, Rich Harden who threw 101.8 PPG, Tim Hudson who threw 102.3 PPG, Jake Peavy, who threw 99.5 PPG, Mike Mussina who threw 96.4 PPG, workhorse Roy Halladay has not topped that mark in his career, Kerry Wood who threw 101.0 PPG, etc...you get the idea.
The only pitchers who beat out Pedro in pitches per game were Jason Schmidt, Robert Madritsch, Livan Hernandez, Carlos Zambrano, Barry Zito, Al Leiter, Joel Pineiro, Curt Schilling, and Freddy Garcia. That's right, only nine pitchers in the entire major leagues threw more pitches per game. Overall, Pedro threw the ninth most pitches out of the entire major leagues. Not bad for a 33 year old guy with a bad shoulder and a 90% torn labrum that cannot throw more than 100 pitches. Really though, in these days of pitch counts, not many people average over 110 pitches per game as only three had done it in 2004. Out of the 119 pitchers to start at least 20 games started, 47 had averaged over 100 pitches per game. Pedro is exactly where he needs to be, and that is at the top of the league in this category.
He was also 10th in the majors with 3.72 K/BB, 7th in the majors with a 9.41 K/9, 12th in the majors with a 1.17 WHIP, 12th in the majors with a .238 BAA, and 13th in the majors with a .299 opponents OBP.