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Bob Feller

The biology of the midseason pitching slump

The biology of the midseason pitching slump

The All-Star Game brings more than just a midseason shot of excitement to Major League Baseball. It provides much-needed rest for the players, a four-day respite in a 162-game season that often produces fatigue and injury.

The players who most need rest are the starting pitchers, who, paradoxically, get the most rest during the season, playing only every fifth day. Yet, midseason pitching swoons, like the Oriole starters have recently experienced, are not uncommon.

Perhaps the best-known case of pitching fatigue to occur around the All-Star break was that of Bob Feller, the Cleveland fireballer who at age 17 struck out 17 batters in his fifth major-league start. In his third...