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.…

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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

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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...

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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...

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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...

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