So we know how Joe West feels about the length of some Red Sox-Yankees games, but do statistics now support those feelings?
The Wall Street Journal says yes, as the newspaper released the results of an inexact study that measures the amount of time it takes individual pitchers to deliver a pitch to home plate after the previous pitch. The study showed that Josh Beckett was the slowest pitcher among 2010 Opening Day starters in the league.
The created statistic was called "SLOTH" — seconds to launch one throw home — and it was only measured from a three-inning sample in which there were no walks and no hits. If a batter or pitcher asked for timeout, that pitch was then excluded from the study.
Beckett's time came in at 14.88 seconds — nearly double that of the league's quickest, Tim Lincecum, who was clocked at 8.08 seconds.
Among the fastest to deliver pitches, Mark Buehrle was not surprisingly No. 2 with an 8.18 SLOTH rating. Not surprisingly, neither Beckett or the Yankees' Opening Day starter, CC Sabathia (13.16 seconds), was anywhere close to the quick end of the study. Behind Beckett, the slowest were Derek Lowe (13.3), Scott Baker (13.24), Sabathia and James Shields (12.54).
So maybe these numbers, which were gathered from innings pitched over the 2008-09 seasons, have some value, but it's hard to say these researches didn't just waste a whole lot more time than any pitcher could.
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