Why don't Oriole starters pitch complete games? / MAILBAG - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Midday Mailbag

Why don’t Oriole starters pitch complete games? / MAILBAG

Photo Credit: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports


Most weekdays, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles question. If you’d like to submit a question, send it to: [email protected]. Questions may be edited for clarity, length and style.

Question: Why doesn’t Brandon Hyde manage pitchers like when I grew up. Jim Palmer (and many others) pitched complete games and went on to rack up many wins in their careers. It’s frustrating to see our starters pitch great, then get taken out for relievers that cost us to lose. From: Bob Reid

Answer: Bob, I also long for the days of more complete games, but they’re not coming back.


Corbin Burnes is the best starter the Orioles have had in more than 20 years, and he’s never pitched a complete game. He hasn’t pitched more than seven innings with the Orioles, but he’s still incredibly valuable.

It’s not only Brandon Hyde who liberally uses the bullpen. Through Sunday’s games, there have been just 17 complete games in the major leagues this year, none by the Orioles.

When a manager has star closers like Félix Bautista and Craig Kimbrel, who have excellent records of success, he’d be foolish not to use them.

The style of the game has changed. Not only do pitchers throw harder more often than they did when Palmer pitched, but at-bats are also lengthier, meaning more pitches thrown.

Yes, it’s exciting to see a pitcher go out for the ninth inning, but no starter will ever come close to the 211 complete games Palmer had in his career.

Question: Can a player compete in the Home Run Derby and not in the All-Star Game? From: David George

Answer: David, Trey Mancini competed in the 2021 Home Run Derby and finished second to the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso, but wasn’t picked for the All-Star team.

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