This is a baseball term which refers to the number of pitches a pitcher throws in a game. This statistic is tracked for many different purposes. This is a very easy statistic to calculate, as it only requires that one count the number of pitches a pitcher throws. The count could measure across games, and is most often used on a per inning or per game basis. The primary reason for tracking this statistic is to ensure a pitcher does not wear out their arm or hurt it in any other way. Throwing different types of pitches creates a great amount of wear and tear on the pitcher's arm, and the manager and pitching coaches must make sure not to overwork the pitcher. As the game progresses, a pitcher may have to be replaced because their speed or accuracy has decreased as a result of arm fatigue. Keeping a pitch count will help coaches know when a pitcher is reaching his/her limit, as it will often be about the same for every game.
Another use of the pitch count is to help calculate the efficiency of a given pitcher. This can be found by comparing the number of pitches thrown to the number of outs made on those pitches. Depending on the result of each pitch, whether it is a strikeout, hit, homerun, or double-play ball, or something else, a team can determine how many pitches per out they are getting. If a pitcher has to throw lots of pitches to get only one out, they will be considered less efficient. Another helpful use of the pitch count is comparison between pitchers. A pitcher capable of consistently throwing more pitches with greater accuracy or speed than another will be more valuable than another less capable pitcher.
In NFL Football, the term 'pitch count' is sometimes used to describe the number of handoffs a running back will receive throughout a game.