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# Baseball Reference Blog

## 1-run victories (or, How the 2000s are just like the 1930s)

Posted by Andy on February 3, 2010

As I promised yesterday, here is the breakdown of 1-run wins since 1900.

I decided to group decades together because there was a lot of year-to-year fluctuation that made the graph hard to read with so many data points.

Three notes on how to read this graph:

• The legend tells you how many runs the winning team scored. Therefore the "1" line represents games that were 1-0 while the "5" line represents games that were 5-4.
• I have grouped each decade's data at the first year of that decade. So, data at 1900 is the sum of all the data from 1900 to 1909, and the data at 2000 is the sum of all the data from 2000 to last season.
• The calculation is the fraction of such games out of all 1-run wins over the given period. In other words, you can see that in the 1900-1909 period, roughly 21% of all 1-run victories had the final score of 2-1. This graph does not include any consideration of the total number of games played.

We can see that the decade just completed (shall we start that debate again?) yielded more 4-3 games than any other type of 1-run victory, and only the 1930s can also boast that same leader. In fact, the overall breakdown is quite similar between the 2000s and the 1930s.

The trends over the last 5 decades mirror the general increase in scoring in the games. One-run victories with 1, 2, or 3 runs have been in steady decline since the 1960s while one-run victories with 4 runs have been pretty almost totally flat. The one-run wins with 5, 6, and 7 runs have been significantly increasing over the same period, as generally have been the wins by even larger marginsĀ  (at least until the 2000s.)

The data from this graph was generated using the Situation Record tool.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 at 7:25 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

### 8 Responses to “1-run victories (or, How the 2000s are just like the 1930s)”

1. Technically the 2000's decade is from 2001-2010.

2. Very nice. But I can't tell the color for the 1-0 games from the color for the 2-1 games. Maybe in addition to the color-coding you could use different-shaped data points for the various lines, say, circles for the 1-0 but squares for the 2-1, triangles for the 3-2, etc. Or maybe instead of always using line segments to join the data points you could use dashes for the 2-1, dots for the 3-2, etc. Or maybe just have a big 1 at the right end of the 1-0 line, a big 2 at the right end of the 2-1 line, etc.

Anyway, it's spooky just how closely the 2-1 data mimics the 1-0 data - are you sure you got those numbers right?

3. What a great idea. That was very thoughtful of you.

4. The funny thing about the 1930s is there's a huge split between the leagues. The NL had a bigger scoring spike in 1929-1930 which led to them doing something to lower offense (I can't remember what). Anyhow, between 1931 and WWII, the NL trailed the AL in scoring each year by as much as a full run per game. So, an AL-only split of the 1930s would be even more extreme.

5. Gerry, thanks for the suggestions. I will incorporate them into future graphs. And yes the data are correct--clearly larger forces were at work that influenced both sets of data.

6. You don't say "The data are correct", you say "The data is correct"

7. Kahuna Tuna Says:

You don't say "The data are correct", you say "The data is correct"

Hey, I can speak Pedantic too! Technically (awful expression), the noun "data" is plural (singular "datum"). I think most people do treat "data" as a singular noun, although those who don't have a very good reason not to. C'mon, Shark, at least do a little research before delivering your lecture.

Just eyeballing it, it looks to me as if the one-run score whose fraction tracks most closely with historical runs-per-game trends, if only at the decade level, is the 6-5 score. Any thoughts on this, Andy?

8. Johnny Twisto Says:

Don't feed the shark.