How Brian Wilson Regularly Pitches

Brian Wilson inspires strong emotions.  Some think he is among the game's best closers, pointing to his being tied for second in the NL with 41 saves.  Others point to the seven times he gave up multiple runs despite only once pitching beyond a single inning of any game, saying he is inconsistent.

Perhaps both are right -- with the reason being that he's being misused.

When Brian pitched every day or every other day, he yielded only 8 earned runs in 34.2 innings, an ERA of  2.08.  He yielded runs in only 5 of his 35 such appearances. 

When he pitched every third day or longer, Brian gave up 24 earned runs in 27.2 innings, a very generous ERA of 7.81.  Brian yielded runs in 13 of 28 such appearances, pitching on the eighth day once and on the seventh five different times.

To make matters worse, the rust Brian showed after long periods between appearances seems to have carried over a bit into his second appearance after a long layoff.  In such games, he yielded 10 earned runs in 19.0 innings for a 4.74 ERA.

Brian's being a bit of a Jeckyll and Hyde pitcher may have had to do with whether he had been given too much rest to stay sharp or had merely pitched enough to remain sharp without being over-rested.  Brian never pitched more than three days in a row, and he did so only twice.

Overwork didn't appear to be a problem with Brian.  Lack of work may have been.

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