Many have posited that the problem is Kazmir’s strikeout rate. Yes, it’s great for a pitcher to strike out more than a batter per inning, but at what cost? It takes at least three pitches to strike out a batter, whereas an out on a ball in-play might take just one. Some have posited that it might be better for Kazmir to hold back a little bit, that all his strikeouts result in high pitch counts and fewer innings.
But to every argument there is a counter-argument. On the one hand, yes, the average strikeout requires more pitches than the average ball in-play. But on the other, a strikeout is a guaranteed out; a ball in-play is not. So first we need to ask, do all those balls in-play actually lower pitch counts?
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