How today’s starter affects tomorrow’s game

It’s the post that started it all!

It’s the beginning of August, maybe the end of July. Your team is halfway through a 12-game road trip against division rivals and playoff contenders, and fresh off back-to-back blowouts that emptied the bullpen. As tonight’s starter gets into an early jam, the color commentator says, “They’re looking for a long outing from him tonight. Even if he doesn’t have his best stuff, they might leave him out there just to save the bullpen.”

Saving the bullpen — leaving the starter in for an extra inning or two to minimize the workload on a team’s relief pitchers — is part of baseball’s conventional wisdom, appearing in countless game stories and press conferences. But how much does a team actually gain from this extra effort?

Read the rest at Beyond the Box Score


  • From Tom Tango’s blog (Tango called it “mathematical gyrations” and MGL was “highly disappointed”)
  • From Rob Neyer on Baseball Nation
  • A Russell Carleton “commandment”