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Death of the complete game


Brewer Fanatic Contributor

We all know bullpens are used differently, and far more often, than they were in past eras, but do you realize how rare the complete game has become?

 

Through the 1970s, a pitcher with 15 complete games barely raised an eyebrow, as league leaders routinely topped 20, and sporadically reached 30.

 

Through the 80s, league leading totals came down somewhat, typically coming in at 15-20.

 

Do you realize no one has recorded 10 complete games this entire decade? The last time anyone did was Randy Johnson's 12 CGs in 1999.

 

That's rather dramatic, historians will be forced to change the way they define greatness among starting pitchers, complete games and shutouts are becoming relics.

 

Without these measurements, and with 300 wins also becoming less likely for even the best, what do you think the new standards for pitchers will be?

 

Complete game leaders

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I don't really know what the new standards are but I do think if you took an old school pitcher and put him in todays game he wouldn't be throwing many complete games. Hitters are just way better than they used to be, they work the count more, they are stronger, they have studied the pitchers more.
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Hitters are just way better than they used to be, they work the count more, they are stronger, they have studied the pitchers more.

 

I am not sure that this is all of it -- Mounds are higher, fences are closer, most newer parks have less foul ground in them. etc... Plus the bullpens are much deeper than they used to be -- the pitching has become more specialized as well -- Back in the day, a starter at 75% was probably a better option than most of the pitchers in the BP.

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yes, they did. The mound used to be 12 inches high or something like that. After the '68 season, they lowered it to the current 10 inches.

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P.I.T.C.H. LEAGUE CHAMPION 1989, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2011 (finally won another one)

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There is more to it than that though, hitting is just valued more than it used to be and fielding is valued less. The importance of OBP has filtered out a lot of mediocre hitters who would have had jobs in the past. I'd be absolutely shocked if hitters weren't better now than in the past given all the technology and improved steroids! they have available to them.
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