MLB Run Scoring Decline Part 1: It’s Not About The Bullpens in 3 Charts

Last week, I posted a graph showing the history of MLB run scoring since 1946. The graph showed a steady decline in run scoring since it peaked in 2000, including a fairly precipitous drop over the last 4 years.

The most common thing, other than the exit of PEDs, that I’ve been hearing from commentators trying to explain the drop has been the growth of ‘power bullpens’ or ‘specialized bullpens.’ Generally, they’ll point to relievers throwing 96 coming out in the 7th inning, and talk about how that just didn’t happen a few years ago. Up until I started looking at the evidence, I believed that this was a big explanation for the decline in run scoring.

But not so much. Let’s start with RP usage:

This chart could be a post on its own. It’s pretty cool to watch relief usage grow over time. After four decades of growth, the starter/reliever shares of innings stabilized. 2014’s usage patterns are not significantly different from 2000’s.… Click here to read the rest

Chart: MLB Run Scoring Since 1946

I have only one short piece of commentary to add to this, but I’m a big enough baseball geek to just stare at this chart and think about the possibilities:

Here’s the one piece of commentary I’d like to offer: How far does the current trend in run scoring go? NL run scoring (the better barometer, since the DH changed AL run scoring substantially) is pointed in the direction toward the Deadball Era. Will it keep going and bottom out that low? We’ll see. Personally, I think it will if MLB doesn’t change the rules.… Click here to read the rest

BTBS's All True Yankees Team

Beyond the Box Score finally worked its way down the alphabet to post the All True Yankees team. To recap what I posted two weeks ago, this team consists of players who spent every single game of their careers in pinstripes. The Yankees have quite the impressive squad. You can see the full list here.

Chris St. John on the Yankees:

So this is why there’s such a thing as a “True Yankee.” The difference between the Yankees (1) and the Red Sox (2) is the same as the difference between the Red Sox and the Phillies (13). There are just no weaknesses on this team as even the bench is full of 35+ win players. There are eight more players who didn’t make the team at all who have more than ten career wins.

In order to make the best lineup, I had to put DiMaggio in left field, Posada at second base, White at third base and Williams in right field.

Click here to read the rest

Red Sox win six straight at Yankee Stadium for first time ever

RAB’s Hannah volunteered to write this recap, but I realized this morning that I never mentioned what time we’d need it, and as she’s on the west coast, I’m going to go ahead and toss this quickie up on the Yankees’ 8-3 loss to the Red Sox for now.

Given that I knew I had coverage, and the fact that I’ve just been monumentally exhausted this week, I decided to hit the sack with the Yanks up 2-0 in the 5th. While two runs is obviously nowhere even close to a comfortable lead against the Red Sox ever, I felt reasonably good about CC Sabathia getting the team a much needed win.

Apparently it all unraveled in the 7th inning, as the Red Sox erupted for seven runs. I won’t go into the gory details, since I didn’t see them and you almost certainly don’t want to relive them, but CC must have completely fallen apart, as he gave up six hits and six runs.… Click here to read the rest

It Brings Us Together

The video above is from last night’s Mets-Phillies game, and was filmed moments after news began to filter out about Osama Bin Laden’s death at the hand of US forces. When I saw that clip, I instantly recalled October 2001.

It was just a few weeks after a number of deranged individuals took thousands of American lives by committing heinous acts of terror on U.S. soil. America was grieving, trying to cope and process a new world in which our safety, so long taken for granted, was suddenly in doubt. Pain, sadness, and confusion were the emotions of the day, and the country in general and New York City in particular were desperate for a catharsis, for a moment where we could stand together, link hands as Americans, and say “You can strike at us, but we will stand together and grow stronger. We are united. We are not afraid.” Somewhat surprisingly, that moment came at a World Series game in the Bronx.… Click here to read the rest

Historical Flotsam And Jetsam: Mantle, Moose, CC

A few interesting historical and statistical bits of data came to my attention lately, and I thought I would share them:

1) In Steve’s posts on Derek Jeter a few days ago, he compared Jeter to Mickey Mantle, and noted that Mantle’s decline greatly hurt the club in 1965-1968. In an ensuing discussion that took place on GReader, Matt Bouffard of Fack Youk pointed out that Mantle’s decline has become overstated among pundits and Yankees fans. To quote:

Mickey Mantle’s final four seasons:

1965: 2.9 fWAR, 2.0 bWAR, 137 OPS+, .371 wOBA
1966: 3.8 fWAR, 3.7 bWAR, 170 OPS+, .402 wOBA
1967: 4.4 fWAR, 4.1 bWAR, 149 OPS+, .373 wOBA
1968: 3.9 fWAR, 3.6 bWAR, 142 OPS+, .362 wOBA

When I expressed surprise over the high quality of those numbers due to my impression that Mantle had totally fallen off a cliff at the end of his career, Matt had this to say:

I guess the issue of Mantle’s performance depends on your perspective.

Click here to read the rest

Guest Post: Did the 2009 Yankees Produce the Greatest Infield (Plus Catcher) in MLB History? (UPDATED)

[image title=”article” size=”full” id=”15717″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]
This is a guest post from friend of the blog Jamal Granger. It is a meticulous piece of research and we are proud to be running it here at TYU.

Endless thanks to Eric Seidman of Baseball Prospectus, who devoted his valuable time to supplying with me with the essential data for this post, and introduced me to the wonders of SQL (though, as I begin to immerse myself, I question whether “thanks” is the appropriate term …).

The 1975 Cincinnati Reds were the topic of a recently published novel by celebrated sports journalist Joe Posnanski. In the book, titled The Machine: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, Posnanski “… captures all of the passion and tension, drama and glory of this extraordinary team considered to be one of the greatest ever to take the field,” says Amazon.com; however, based on a recent discussion that Mike Francesa had with his listeners on his radio show – Mike’d Up – about the greatest infield-plus-catcher units in baseball history, I decided to take a statistical look at things and discovered how the ’75 Reds arguably boasted the greatest quintet of players to ever take the baseball diamond.… Click here to read the rest

For the Love of the Game

In case you missed it, on Sunday and Monday, I posted portions of a research paper I wrote as a junior while at UConn (14-9? Really? 14-9? Ugh.) that dealt with the Homeric tradition in contemporary American film, as well as the American cultural landmarks of the “Wild West” and baseball. After re-reading this paper–for what was probably the first time since I handed it in–I got to thinking about baseball, and the Yankees of course, and what it all means to us as Americans, fans, and people.

Norman Rockwell

Like all sports, baseball is first and foremost a game for us. While we take our analysis seriously, we all know that at the root of it all is a game. Some of us played it growing up and some of us continue to play it, in one form or another (hooray for slow pitch softball!) and above all else, it’s fun as hell. No sport can bring a smile to our collective faces quite like baseball can.… Click here to read the rest

A Little History

I can’t believe this is even necessary for Teixeira’s slow start, but the rumblings about his slow start are starting to drive me crazy.  I’m a little surprised that not everyone knows this, but here’s a little tidbit:  pssst… HE DOES THIS EVERY YEAR!!!  I thought it was common knowledge, but as I was leaving my apartment this morning, I heard Brandon Tierny of ESPN radio beginning a segment on Tex’s slow start, so I guess not everyone knows this yet.  Maybe it’s because his name you can’t look him up in baseball reference is so darn hard to spell.   I’ll lay out the stats on Tex as well as for Mariano, if any of you forgot about his history of dead arms.  It’s important to know what you should be worried about and what you shouldn’t.

Tex is the easy one: every year it’s the same, #$R@ing thing.  Last year, he actually wasn’t quite as bad, with a .273 average and a .797 OPS in March/April (compared to .308, .962 overall), but look at some of these other years.:

2007:  .231, .686
2006: he steadily got worse and worse before finally picking it up in July!… Click here to read the rest