Justin Verlander threw 133 pitches in last night’s win over the Rangers, which got me wondering about the most pitches ever thrown in a postseason start.
Turns out, Verlander wasn’t even close to cracking the top 10. And that’s only counting games since people started tracking pitch counts, which rules out a whole lot of data before 1970 or so:
YEAR IP PIT Steve Carlton 1980 8.0 159 Luis Tiant 1975 9.0 155 Britt Burns 1983 9.1 150 David Cone 1995 7.2 147 Curt Schilling 1993 9.0 147 F. Valenzuela 1981 9.0 147 Livan Hernandez 1997 9.0 143 Al Leiter 2000 8.2 142 Livan Hernandez 1997 8.0 142 Roger Clemens 1986 7.1 142
Verlander ranks tied for 44th and only three of the 43 guys ahead of him logged fewer than his 7.1 innings.
Livan Hernandez is the only pitcher to appear on the list twice and even more amazingly the two starts were 11 days apart in 1997. One was the famous 15-strikeout, Eric Gregg-umpired complete game versus the Braves in the NLCS and the other was an eight-inning, six-run outing versus the Indians in the World Series.
Also of note is that four of the top-10 highest pitch counts in playoff history came in losing efforts.