Oldtimers pitched far more innings
I can think of two things that will never happen again in Major League Baseball. There will never be another pitcher win 30 games in a regular season. There will also never be another starting pitcher that starts and wins three games in a World Series.
Both of these feats were last accomplished in 1968 by two members of the Detroit Tigers. Denny McClain had a record of 31-6. He made 41 starts, had 28 complete games, an earned run average of 1.96, pitched 336 innings, struck out 280 batters and walked only 63.
Detroit faced St. Louis in the World Series. There were no playoffs at that time. McClain lost 4-0 in game one to Bob Gibson. In game four, he pitched only two and two-thirds innings giving up four runs. There were two rain delays in that game which caused him to be shut down early in a 10-1 loss.
In the meantime, Mickey Lolich pitched complete game victories in games two and five. McClain came back on two days rest to pitch a complete game win in game six by a score of 13-1. Lolich came back on two days rest to pitch a complete game 4-1 win in game seven.
Compare these statistics to the stats of today’s pitchers who are supposed to be more physically capable of pitching longer in games than players of the past. Statistics don’t lie! The “veterans” possessed techniques that kept them active for longer periods of time during the season. Check out the career of Nolan Ryan for example.
The “good old boys” made their starts every “fourth day” and ate up innings for a lot less money than the “youngsters” who get paid extravagant salaries for less work on the mound.
Bryan Fleming, Ashland