A Baseball Weblog

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Edwin Jackson's pitch count

Congratulations to the Diamondbacks' Edwin Jackson, who on Friday pitched the 267th no-hitter in Major League history, and the 4th of the 2010 season. He walked 8, which was the most in a no-hitter since A.J. Burnett's 9-walk no-no in 2001. Jackson also struck out 6, making it also the first no-hitter since Burnett's in which a pitcher walked more batters than he struck out. Since Jackson was wild early before setting down (7 walks in the first 3 innings, 1 walk and 1 hit batsman after), his high pitch count was a developing story throughout the game. Entering the 8th, Jackson had 117 pitches, and entering the 9th, he had 134 pitches. Any other circumstance, he'd be long gone from the game, but manager A.J. Hinch opted to let his pitcher go for the record books. When all was said and done, Jackson had 149 pitches. Let's put that into perspective for a minute. Courtesy of Baseball Prospectus, here are the maximum in-game pitch counts since 1996:

YearPitcherTeamPitch Count
2010Edwin JacksonDiamondbacks149
2009Roy HalladayBlue Jays133
2008Tim LincecumGiants138
2007A.J. BurnettBlue Jays130
2006Livan HernandezNationals138
2005Livan HernandezNationals150
2004Jason SchmidtGiants144
2003Kerry WoodCubs141
2002Randy JohnsonDiamondbacks149
2001Randy JohnsonDiamondbacks145
2000Ron Villone Reds150
1999Pedro AstacioRockies153
1998Livan HernandezMarlins153
1997Tim WakefieldRed Sox169
1996Roger ClemensRed Sox161

Jackson threw the most pitches in a game since Livan Hernandez in 2005, and there really wasn't a game since Tim Wakefield's 8 2/3 inning, 7 walk, 10 strikeout, 169 pitch outing in 1997 that wasn't within three or four pitches of Jackson's no-hitter. Given the increased focus on pitch counts and decreasing in-game totals, certainly this performance by Jackson is one of the most impressive --- or, depending on whom you talk to, abusive --- we've seen in a while.

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