I’m guessing this is Buster Olney trying to add to the whole pitching to the score/pitcher wins/Cy Young/Jack Morris debate. But since it’s Buster Olney, it doesn’t make all that much sense.
A question for anyone who thinks pitchers don’t make decisions according to the score: please explain timing of intentional walks.
1. Pitchers don’t call for intentional walks. The bench calls for intentional walks. At best, the pitcher might have some influence over the decision following a trip to the mound.
2. The intentional walk is simply a maneuver used by a team in an attempt to hurt the other team’s chance of scoring one or more runs (usually one). At least, that’s the idea anyway. Teams issue them when they’re ahead, when they’re behind and when they’re tied, simply because the whole idea is that it’ll hurt the other team’s chances of scoring.
Anyway, I’m not sure what Olney hoped to add to the debate here. Besides, no one has ever said pitchers don’t acknowledge the score when they pitch. Many of us just don’t think it makes any real difference at all. The great pitchers tend to be just as great whether they have one or eight runs to work with.