Dontrelle Willis' exasperating start

Dontrelle Willis cleared 100 pitches over his five-inning stint against the Royals on Tuesday. This is the kind of start that you could call "The Exasperator."

It's the kind of start that is frustrating for fans and frustrating for managers. And it's been a trend over the last few years that they've increased in number. But by how much?


Pitchers with the most starts since 2007 consisting of 5 IP or fewer while throwing 100 pitches or more

According to Baseball-Reference.com, there were 173 starts of more than 100 pitches and five or fewer innings pitched in 2000, accounting for about 3.5 percent of all major league starts.

In 2005, there were 193 such starts. The next year, there was a jump to 229 and that figure has held steady. Over the last two years, there were 222 and 226 respectively. So now we're looking at about one in every 20 starts, meaning we're likely to see at least one of these per day throughout the year.

Who are your most likely culprits when it comes to exasperating starts?

Milwaukee Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo actually led the majors in Exasperators last season with seven. Daisuke Matsuzaka topped the big leagues in 2008 with six, but amazingly went 4-0 in his exasperating starts. That doesn't provide much of an incentive to get better.

But here's one. Of the 10 teams that had the most exasperating starts in the majors last season, only one (the Red Sox) had a winning record.