I am beginning to wonder if all the innings pitched and pitches thrown is starting to catch up to our starting pitching. Throughout the season, I have routinely found myself wondering why our young starting pitcher is getting trotted back out to the mound with a four run lead in the 7th or 8th or 9th inning, when he has already thrown 100+ pitches. I used to love that the Giants were one of the few times around that didn't hold fast to the arbitrary hundred pitch limit and would let their guys throw, but seeing the way our pitching has performed recently (The team currently has the 8th best ERA in MLB over the season, but they were 15th for the month of July and 21st for the young month of August) I have to wonder if they have been overused. Over the course of the season, the starters have thrown the 4th most innings in all of MLB and as a consequence of that, the relievers have thrown the 24th most innings. To compound the issue, we have been blessed with a very healthy starting pitching staff and so all but 9.2 of those innings have been logged by 5 starters. I have to believe that this heavy workload could be contributing to the decline the starters have been experiencing lately.