Earlier this week we took a look at home runs in Major League Baseball and how they are skyrocketing, reaching a level only previously seen during the peak of the steroid era. Well, home runs are not alone and it is a big problem.
In addition to home runs, strikeouts are also up. MLB batters are on pace to strikeout 38,875 times this season, which break the record set last year by nearly 1,500 strikeouts.
Now let’s take it a step further. The total number of home runs, strikeouts, and walks is up 6% this year, 17% since 2005, and on pace for its highest total ever.
Why is this number important? Because these three plays all have something important in common: they are all at bats that end without any actual play by the defence.
So far this year, the average MLB game has 24.5 at bats in which the defence does nothing. That’s up 9% since 2010 and up 42% since 1980. In a sport often deemed “too slow,” decreasing the amount of actual action is a terrifying trend.
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