MSU Seeks More from Weekend Starters

Mississippi State coach John Cohen is probably going to shuffle his weekend pitching rotation for the second time this season, and the numbers I’ve broken down will tell you why.

The numbers-crunching I did yesterday confirmed my suspicions: MSU is getting fewer innings out of its starting pitching than any other SEC team: 3.89 innings per SEC start. That’s a good ways behind 11th-place Auburn (4.51).

If you picked up a hard copy of today’s Journal, you should see an accompanying chart. If you haven’t seen it, then here it is: How the SEC teams rank in innings pitched by weekend starters (total innings, innings per game).

1. Vanderbilt: 131 2/3 IP, 6.27 IP/game

2. Georgia: 130 IP, 6.19 IP/game

3. Alabama: 128 IP, 6.10 IP/game

4. Florida: 124 1/3 IP, 5.92 IP/game

5. South Carolina: 123 2/3 IP, 5.89 IP/game

6. LSU: 123 IP, 5.86 IP/game

7. Kentucky: 116 2/3 IP, 5.56 IP/game

8. Ole Miss: 116 1/3 IP, 5.54 IP/game

9. Tennessee: 96 1/3 IP, 4.59 IP/game

10. Arkansas: 95 1/3 IP, 4.54 IP/game

11. Auburn: 94 2/3 IP, 4.51 IP/game

12. Mississippi State: 81 2/3 IP, 3.89 IP/game

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As I point out in the story, only twice has an MSU weekend starter lasted seven innings or longer, and on both occasions it was Chris Stratton. Here’s another stat for you: MSU is one of three teams without a complete game from one of its weekend guys, the other two being Arkansas and South Carolina.

“You don’t want your starters going four innings,” Saturday starter Nick Routt said. “You want get a quality start, get five, six, seven innings out of a start. That’s the main goal.”

I’ve done a more detailed breakdown over on the Tumblr blog, looking at innings pitched on each day. Some interesting numbers there, so have a look.