The Year of the Pitcher?

As noted below, through 12 games, the Yanks have barely scored half the runs that they had at the same point last season. It’s tempting (and reasonable) to look at the make up of this year’s Yankees for an excuse (and also to remember just how torrid Alex Rodriguez was to open the season last year.) However, the Yanks have also faced quality pitching from every team they’ve played, and not just from the front-of-the-rotation types. Are teams across the league getting smarter about pitching? Keeping a better eye on peripherals, eschewing the mediocre veterans in favor of young arms coming into their potential? Is it something random? Is the ball different? Last year, average MLB era was 4.46. AL was 4.51. NL was 4.43. This season? So far, a substantial drop: MLB is 4.03. Al is 4.05. NL is 4.01. That’s nearly half a run per game–a huge change. Small sample aberration? Or is something going on?

2 comments… add one
  • Yes. Small sample size. Last year’s March/April ML ERA was 4.12, nearly as much as this season’s “drop” through the first two weeks.
    Checking back a few years, in 2000 ML ERA in April was about nearly 5, while the year average was almost a quarter run less.

    ccaviness April 13, 2008, 1:04 pm
  • ERAs tend to be better in April, so the CW goes. Colder weather means balls travel less, fewer home runs, extra-base hits, more fly outs, etc. The AL East, otoh, does seem to have the best pitching I’ve seen in years … potentially.

    Paul SF April 13, 2008, 4:10 pm

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