A question about pitch counts and innings limits

This is posted in the Commentary and Analysis category that we have here at Obstructed View, but it really should be posted in a category called Questions. Since we don't ask these questions very often, this category will have to do. It makes no sense to set up a new category for one stinking post.

Anyway, this will be short. I really only have a question for you and to be completely honest, I'm not even looking for an answer because truthfully, there isn't one. I just thought it worth highlighting the question by leaving it as a post rather than a comment. Apparently I think my questions deserve more prominence than those others ask.

A pitcher these days is almost always on a pitch count. Only 9 times this year has a starter thrown 130 pitches or more and none higher than 136. Only 64 times has a pitcher thrown 120 or more pitches. We've already seen 4282 games played this year, which means that 0.2% of the time a pitcher has thrown between 130 and 136 pitches and 1.5% of the games a pitcher has thrown 120 or more. That's a total of 1.7% of games in which a starting pitcher has thrown 120 or more pitches and none higher than 136. Even these pitchers who threw this many pitches were on a pitch count. This has been going on for at least a decade.

Only recently have we heard of such things as innings limits.

My question is why do teams manage a game with a pitch count and then the season with an innings limit? They're closely monitoring the pitch count of starts, and relievers for that matter, but when it comes time to shutting a pitcher down it's all about innings.

I'd not have even thought about this had it not been for Rany's fantastic article in which he asks the very same question, but I thought I'd post it here too. Not to get an answer, because quite honestly there isn't one, but to point out that an innings limit is never the right way to approach a lighter workload.

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