In this, the era of the pitch count, one reads, sees and hears things he or she would not have read, seen or heard say, twenty years ago. "Hughes isn't going to exceed 75 pitches in his rehab start," "Chamberlain threw 20 pitches, six more than his average," "Johan Santana threw one pitch this inning, up one from his average last season." You get the pitchure (see what I did there?).
I want to gauge common perception of the importance of the pitch count, pardon the gaggle of prepositional phrases, and I'd like Pinstripe Alley to help me do it. There's a catch, however, which is classified by my curiosity not toward the pitch count from the pitcher's side of the action, but rather from the offensive side.
I asked my buddy earlier tonight which scenario he preferred as a manager:
- Four pitch walk
- Ten pitch strikeout
Now, I know there are a lot of variables, at work here even if the batter is the first of the game: quality of the opposing bullpen, relative "rubberness" of the opposing starting pitcher's arm, etc. But the best I can do is to create the closest thing to a vacuum as is possible, which is to say the batter is the first of the game and that's it.
Relative to a four pitch walk, what quantity of pitches in a lead-off strikeout equals the value of that four pitch walk? You do not get a runner on base with no outs and at least your 2-3 hitters coming up, probably your 2-3-4 hitters, but you do significantly more damage to the ever-growing-in-importance "pitch count" of the opposing pitcher.
What say you all? (I apologize if something like this question has been posed already)