Opinion: Starting pitchers in MLB need to throw longer

Austin Troutman / Sports Editor

 

Fans of any sport want to see action, and so far in October, what else can we ask for?

The postseason for Major League Baseball has been what some have expected, but like every year, we should expect the unexpected when it comes to the best teams competing against each other.

However, I have a small problem with the way that these games are being played.

This problem is not about how the games are played, or even the strategy of the manager, but starting pitchers are giving every fanbase problems.

Starting with the American League Wild Card Game, most postseason contests have seen starting pitchers exit the game without even going far enough to qualify for a win.

I get that this is the age of the bullpens and middle relievers these days are trusted more than ever before to get outs in big situations, but this is kind of ridiculous.

Going back to that game in New York, both pitchers (Ervin Santana and Luis Severino) combined for only two and a third innings pitched, and the bullpen took it from there.

And for the rest of the postseason so far, only one game has witnessed both pitchers throwing six innings or more, and it was game one of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Nationals.

If we continue down this path in this sport, and it is almost a guarantee, bullpens will be taxed increasingly each year, and who knows maybe a starting rotation will cease to exist.

The objectives of teams today are to shorten the game by adding flame throwing relievers that can get outs, and match up well against the opposition.

By this philosophy, we could see games in the future where bullpens could take the entire game, and having multiple quality starting pitchers would not be a necessity.

The common words thrown around baseball are “high leverage situations,” and teams want their best arms to get outs in those situations.

My problem is that since many of these starters cannot get out of the fifth inning in most cases this postseason, games are taking forever to be played.

There have not been too many games this fall that have been short of the four-hour mark, and it is just unnecessary.

Everyone is so concerned about injuries these days that 100 pitches are the boundary of success, and after that we must go to the bullpen.

A generation ago, no one was concerned about which man in the bullpen was going to save them that night, the guy who starts the game takes care of it.

Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, and many others were good in their time not because they went five and were done.

They became legends because each could go deep into games, and rebound effectively for the team to win.

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