All-Time Team Records Reflect St. Louis Cardinals’ Long History of Outstanding Pitching Performances
led the St. Louis Cardinals with 17 wins in 2015, about half of
‘s team record. Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Judging team pitching records these days is a lot like making sense of all-time home run records. It can’t be done. The game itself and in the strength and conditioning have changed so drastically in the last decade that players now looking nothing like their predecessors in the 50s and 60s. Heck, even the players from the 80s had at least a little bit of an everyman look.
The modern pitcher is a finely sculpted athlete, and he’s more specialized than ever before. If he’s a reliever, he has a specific role that typically remains the same all season long. If he’s a starter, he’s asked to go five innings. Anything more is considered a gift from heaven. They work in shorter spurts than ever before.
Part of it has to do with how hard these guys throw. Surely, there were hard throwers throughout baseball history, but they weren’t as common as they are now. Pitchers enter professional baseball having high-velocity pitches already in their arsenals. They’ve been throwing high-90s gas since high school.
Meanwhile, trainers and team doctors know more about the human body than ever before. The data wave that took over every front office in the Major Leagues is now washing into sports medicine. You’re seeing the impact (pardon the pun) with concussion treatments. One of the next big frontiers preventing all-too frequent arm and shoulder injuries among pitchers.
Which is why we’re left with strict pitch and innings counts that even further limit how much pitchers pitch. I’m not saying it’s good or bad. But it has helped preserve all-time records that were set in a different age. Here are 10 examples that will never be eclipsed.