Fifty-five years ago, between June and July of 1968, St. Louis Cardinals ace Bob Gibson made 12 starts. He won all 12 games, including eight complete games. His total runs allowed in those 12 games was six.
In 1968, Gibson made 34 appearances, going 22-9 with a 1.12 ERA. Of those 34 games, 28 were complete games and 13 were shutouts. Gibson won both the National League Cy Young Award and MVP that year.
It’s a pitching performance that won’t be possible in 2023. Gibson pitched 304.2 innings at the time. Only eight pitchers pitched 200 innings in the 2022 season. Sandy Alcantara (Miami Marlins), who won the NL Cy Young Award, had the most with 228.2 innings. In 17 seasons, Gibson has thrown 200+ innings 15 times and 300+ twice.안전놀이터
A St. Louis Legend, Gibson retired after the 1975 season and was inducted into Cooperstown in 1981, his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility.
The Toronto Blue Jays’ Hyun-jin Ryu made six appearances against the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 2 after undergoing elbow ligament splicing surgery. Five of those games were five innings, except for a four-inning outing against the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 8 due to a knee injury. He became a five-inning pitcher after returning from surgery.
Before the surgery, the pitch count determined whether Ryu would be removed, but now he is removed after five innings regardless of the pitch count. In his first five games back on August 2 against the Baltimore Orioles and August 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he pitched five-plus innings. He also pitched the sixth inning but was removed without recording an out.
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who was also in the mix with Hyun-jin Ryu, made his return on Aug. 11 against the Colorado Rockies after a 44-day absence due to a shoulder injury. He pitched five innings in three of his next four starts. He pitched two innings in Cleveland on Aug. 24 before the game was postponed due to rain.
He pitched seven innings six times before injuring his shoulder on June 28. However, since his return, manager Dave Roberts has strictly limited him to five innings. In the past, Kershaw would have been thrilled to pitch five innings, but he’s embraced it.
Roberts pulled Kershaw in the second inning of his second start since returning on July 17 against the Milwaukee Brewers with a 4-1 lead. After the game, he said, “The ball hit me hard. I thought it made sense to make the change before the top of the third, and I talked to Kershaw about it,” Roberts told reporters.
In fact, Toronto manager John Schneider is probably similar to Roberts in his handling of Ryu. It’s understandable that he would be cautious with a pitcher who had elbow ligament splicing surgery. And you can”t ignore the record. The sixth inning is the third time the batting order will return. Historically, Ryu is hitting .234 in the first meeting, .252 in the second, and .273 in the third.
Six innings of pitching from a starter in the past hasn’t garnered much attention, but quality starts of six innings and three runs or less have long since become the standard for elite pitchers. Five-inning starts are also valuable to a team. Of course, a five-inning start in which you give up a lot of runs is meaningless.
Except for the four runs against Baltimore in his first start back, he allowed three runs or less. Only eight earned runs in 29 innings. That’s quality pitching. The reason why pitching the first five innings is so effective is that most teams that compete in the postseason have a good bullpen. They can protect the starters’ wins. This is different from the KBO.
However, five-inning pitches are not highly valued. The expectation of a highly paid starting pitcher is to pitch six or more innings.