clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Ricky Nolasco should've watched the ninth from the bench

New, 2 comments

Ricky Nolasco was sent out to pitch in the ninth inning to complete the game .

Nolasco -- who entered the ninth inning at 113 pitches -- retired the first two batters before issuing a walk and allowing a single to Cliff Floyd, before being pulled in favor of reliever Joe Nelson.

"We gave [Nolasco] an opportunity with the off-day coming on Thursday -- he has an extra day [rest]," Gonzalez explained. "But normally I don't like to push guys past 125 [pitches]. We wanted to give him an opportunity, at least a chance, to do it."

"We were both, I guess, cheering it on," Gonzalez said, as a complete game would have been a first for Nolasco and for Gonzalez as Marlins manager.

Complete games are overrated and I hate it when they do this with young arms.  I hated in 2006 and again in 2007 and I still hate it in 2008.

The last pitcher to throw a complete game for the Marlins was Anibal Sanchez's no-hitter in 2006.  After Sanchez threw his no hitter, he never recovered.  He ended up having shoulder problems the following year and was shutdown by the club in the first week of spring training.  Sure he made some starts in 2007 but he didn't look right throwing with a horrible arm slot.  Eventually, he ended up joining Dr. Andrews team and is on the 60-day DL.  And who knows if he will ever regain his past form.

The second closest to a complete game was Scott Olsen who went 8.2 innings against the Brewers on May 6 and has yet to win a game since that outing.  Olsen lost velocity on his fastball and some command leading to a dead-arm period.  His velocity is just now starting to return and this is mid-June.

And now they let Nolasco throw a 132 pitches to see if he can complete a game .

That's the most anyone has thrown in the majors in nearly two years, since Cincinnati's Aaron Harang went to 135 on July 8, 2006. However, with an off day coming Thursday, the Marlins felt they could let Nolasco max out.

The most pitches a starter has thrown in nearly two years?  The thing is this: the off day isn't going to help, it may take longer than that to recover. Even though Ricky thinks the old high school adage will get him through .

"It won't matter,'' he said about the long outing. "It will be fine (today). Run it out. Sweat it out. It's not a concern.''

It doesn't work that way with extending young arms.

The problem is that to complete a game a pitcher will extend himself past his normal level of effort and throw high stress pitches when he is already tired.  And this is a recipe for disaster or maybe even a ticket to Birmingham.

If the bullpen can't handle one inning of mop-up duty, we need to get some new folks in the pen who can.