Essay What a Difference a Pitcher Makes

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The Difference a Pitcher Makes Natasha D. Fickett COM/155 January 27, 2013 Dr. Cari Kenner The Difference a Pitcher Makes Crack! It is going, going---GONE, and the crowd goes wild. The game of baseball can infect anyone who watches long enough. Baseball is a game of happenstance: From one pitch to the next, it cannot be predicted, and it is this suspense, which keeps anyone who watches on the edge of his or her seats and why it is such an enjoyment to watch. Anyone young or old can enjoy the game of baseball because of its infectious nature. In the game of baseball, there are many similarities and differences between starting pitchers and relieving pitchers, in how they are used and how they pitch. For instance, a starting pitcher will pitch every five days and will usually pitch between six to seven innings. There are many factors that influence how many innings a starter does throw; one would be the runs given up during the game. If a pitcher gives up five runs in the first inning and another two in the next inning, the bullpen will be called on sooner to come in and pitch. In addition, starters can feature four to five different pitches and throw 100-120 of these pitches in an outing. The relief pitcher, meanwhile, can pitch every day, usually for only an inning or two. Relievers just feature two pitches and do no usually have a set throw count during the innings they come in, but sometimes only throw up to 20 pitches. Despite this, I believe that a relief staff can be just as important to a team’s success as its starting staff. While some baseball teams win regardless of having a poor bullpen, relief pitchers, and starting pitchers are equally important to a team’s success on the field. Other similarities with starters and relievers are that they all throw the same kinds of pitches. While a starter can throw four to five different pitches normally, a pitcher like R,A. Dickey, who throws a knuckle ball, may only feature the knuckle ball in his outing as a starter. Most starters throw some combination of a fastball, curveball, changeup, and a slider. Some starters feature multiple versions of a fastball. Josh Beckett, for instance, throws a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, and a cut fastball. Mariano Rivera, as a reliever, will throw a four-seam fastball and a cut fastball but 90% of the time will just throw the cut fastball. “According to, pitching almost always wins championships. In the article, they do statistics-based research and found that only 2.83 percent of teams with mediocre or worse for pitching win the World Series. They also noted that 33 percent of teams with good pitching won the World Series without having good hitting or run support. However, the majorities of teams in the Major Leagues do and can have both. So while pitching is a huge factor in winning, it is not the only one.” ( Teams with good starters can make the playoffs and win it all. The San Francisco Giants won two of the last three World Series based on exceptional starters. A good starting staff can take pressure off a bullpen and allow them to pitch well also. The San Francisco Giants had the sixth best starter ERA (earned run average) in 2012 when they won the World Series. They also had the seventh best bullpen ERA as well. The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series in 2011, and had the fourth best ERA in baseball in 2012. The lower a starting pitchers ERA can equal wins but not always. Justin Verlander, for example, had an ERA of 2.64 and won 17 games in 2012. David Price had a 2.56 ERA and won 20 games in 2012. There are many factors in winning a…