Gil Meche had no-hit stuff as he faced the Giants on Saturday. He promptly struck out the first five hitters he faced and did not allow a hit until the fifth inning.
This marked the second straight game that Meche brought a no-no into the fifth. While four innings without a hit is not all that significant, something else about Meche's game that night was.
Meche allowed only three hits over 5 2/3 innings, and yet he didn't finish out the sixth inning. Why? Because he had thrown 101 pitches.
I looked down at my scorecard as Meche left: three hits, two walks, seven K's. Meche threw five pitches or more to 11 of the 23 hitters he faced. I'm not one to obsess over pitch counts, but I do think Meche's count is consistently a problem.
Over the last few starts, Meche has thrown 115 pitches over 7 1/3 innings, 100 over six innings, and 115 over 5 2/3 innings.
There are plenty of theories as to why Meche's count is so high; maybe his out pitch(es) lacks something...break or speed. Perhaps he wants the strikeout too badly...ground balls and pop ups are your friend, Mr. Meche.
The good news for Meche, and Royals fans in general, is that he is a few small tweaks away from being a dominant starting pitcher, which the Royals and their feeble offense desperately need.