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Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
What’s happening is that with strikeouts at historically unprecedented levels, even for non-power hitters, there are fewer productive outs that move runners along and provide chances for runs to be driven home without putting a ball over the fence. That keeps control of the game in the hands of the sluggers, even as raw home run totals drop.
There are those who might say that this is a troubling trend, that by relying more on brute force, baseball loses key strategic elements, and the artistry of both two-strike hitting and making those productive outs. Phooey to that. When you go to the ballpark, are you looking for the game to be decided by a groundout to second base, or by a sweet 450-foot dinger? Furthermore, do you want to see a starting pitcher grind his way through seven innings of balls sprayed all over the place, or do you want to see him mow down the other lineup for 11 strikeouts before turning it over to a couple of flame-throwing relievers?
As far as dramatic value goes, a proportionally high-homer environment with lots of strikeouts and low overall scoring, keeping games close, is about as high as baseball can get.
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