Before Wednesday, Dodgers closer Takashi Saito had appeared in 20 games this season, throwing exactly one inning in 16 of them. In those 16 games, he threw a total of 257 pitches, or an average of around 16 pitches per outing.

In the ninth inning of tonight's game at Wrigley Field, however, Saito gave up two walks, a hit, and the game-tying run, and threw 37 pitches. Aside from obliterating that 16-pitch average, that's more tosses than Saito has thrown in any game this season, including a pair of two-inning appearances. In fact, it's more pitches than Saito had thrown in all but two of his 155 lifetime Major League appearances.

But the most compelling fact surrounding Saito's 37 pitches to me is what that pitch total says about the Cubs' approach to hitting this season. On a night when Cub batters looked mostly helpless against Derek Lowe and completely overmatched against Jonathan Broxton, they still retained sufficient patience to accept two walks and let Saito put them in a position to tie the game on Geovany Soto's sacrifice fly.

Nice win tonight. All praise to plate patience!


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