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Ryan Dempster moves into major league lead in pitches thrown

That final pitch Ryan Dempster threw Friday -- a ball four to Bronson Arroyo with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh -- moved him into the major league lead for pitches thrown this season. The top 11 is below. Everyone on the list has made exactly 17 starts: 1. Ryan Dempster - 1,878 2. Roy Halladay - 1,877 3. Dan Haren - 1,873 4. Yovani Gallardo - 1,869 5. Jered Weaver - 1,868 6. Felix Hernandez - 1,866 7. Kevin Millwood - 1,841 8. Aaron Harang - 1,797 9. Chris Carpenter - 1,789 10. Randy Wolf - 1,784 11. Zack Greinke - 1,770 There are also two pitchers with 16 starts up close to Dempster and Halladay in pitches per outing: 1. Ubaldo Jimenez - 1,756 2. Justin Verlander - 1,753 It will be interesting to see just how many pitchers from this group of 13 decline in the second half. Haren has a history of second-half swoons, and though he’s not pitching as well as usual, he’s taken on a very extremely heavy workload. I think Dempster is at particular risk. He’s the only pitcher in baseball to have thrown 120 pitches on five occasions this season (Gallardo and Jimenez have done so four times). In 2008, he threw 101.2 pitches per starts. In 2009, it was 101.9. This year, he’s at 110.5. Particularly since they’re committed to him for $27.5 million between 2011 and 2012, the Cubs would be smart to be more careful with him from here on in.