You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Blog >

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all B-R content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing B-R blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Baseball-Reference.com » Sports Reference

For more from Andy and the gang, check out their new site High Heat Stats.

The Steroids Era is Over

Posted by Andy on May 7, 2010

This article is not the long, detailed discussion you might expect. I've just noticed the incredibly low HR totals a few teams have:

Rk PA H 2B 3B HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS TB
1 SEA 1040 213 44 5 10 86 .230 .302 .321 .623 297
2 HOU 986 211 40 4 11 77 .232 .277 .321 .598 292
3 CLE 1025 217 51 3 15 90 .242 .327 .356 .683 319
4 ATL 1067 215 46 2 18 107 .237 .334 .351 .685 319
5 OAK 1085 245 49 4 19 123 .253 .320 .371 .692 359
6 WSN 1067 239 62 11 22 118 .255 .331 .415 .746 389
7 SDP 1083 231 42 7 23 120 .245 .327 .377 .705 356
8 NYM 1080 221 41 11 23 108 .236 .316 .377 .693 353
9 DET 1141 282 76 5 24 128 .280 .357 .437 .794 440
10 FLA 1093 258 53 2 24 127 .264 .330 .395 .725 387
11 TEX 1098 247 45 5 24 125 .253 .321 .382 .703 374
12 SFG 1044 254 56 5 25 116 .276 .342 .429 .771 395
13 PIT 1068 227 46 3 25 100 .240 .314 .374 .688 354
14 LAA 1100 253 59 1 26 114 .254 .317 .394 .711 392
15 COL 1092 251 57 8 27 131 .261 .338 .422 .760 405
16 LAD 1127 276 56 7 28 138 .279 .349 .435 .783 430
17 TBR 1102 255 64 6 28 163 .264 .343 .429 .772 415
18 KCR 1122 281 48 7 28 118 .277 .332 .421 .754 427
19 MIN 1164 275 54 7 29 137 .273 .359 .427 .787 430
20 BAL 1088 244 49 3 29 94 .246 .309 .390 .699 386
21 MIL 1154 274 61 9 30 148 .273 .356 .441 .797 443
22 CIN 1057 225 35 7 30 112 .241 .314 .391 .704 364
23 STL 1135 260 59 3 31 118 .259 .336 .417 .753 418
24 PHI 1093 258 62 6 33 145 .268 .339 .448 .788 431
25 NYY 1057 252 45 10 34 141 .276 .364 .458 .822 419
26 CHC 1128 265 48 5 34 132 .270 .342 .432 .775 425
27 CHW 1070 211 40 2 38 108 .225 .310 .393 .703 369
28 BOS 1156 280 71 2 40 146 .275 .351 .467 .818 475
29 ARI 1146 278 66 5 41 158 .274 .349 .470 .819 477
30 TOR 1141 243 83 5 43 138 .239 .313 .457 .770 465
TOT 32809 7441 1608 160 812 3666 .257 .331 .408 .739 11805
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/7/2010.

The Mariners are on pace to hit 58 HR this season and the Astros are on pace for 64. Look at the season totals from, for example, 1998. The lowly Pirates hit 107 HR while the new and terrible Rays hit 111. The low teams in 2010 are way below those benchmarks. In 2009, the awful Mets had the lowest total but still managed 95 HR.

Of course, it's likely that the Mariners and Astros will both revert to the mean a little bit and hit HR at a faster pace for the rest of the season. (Not necessarily, though. After all, the Blue Jays are leading the league and on pace for 232 HR, similar to the Yankees' league-leading total of 244 last year and the Rangers' and Phillies' second-place totals of 224.)

Here's a little more info to put in perspective just how bad the HR hitting has been for Seattle and Houston so far:

  • Paul Konerko has more HR himself than the Mariners or Astros have as a team, and 3 other guys have as many HR as the Mariners.
  • Of the Astros' 11 home runs, 4 came with the bases empty and 7 were two-runs shots. They have no 3-runs homers or grand slams so far this season.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 7th, 2010 at 11:28 am and is filed under Event Finders, Home Runs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

15 Responses to “The Steroids Era is Over”

  1. I heard a commentator on MLB network the other night (I forget which one) make the comment that he couldn't remember a time with this many dominant starters in the league. Sure, there are still some serious depth problems for some teams. But I would bolster your observation by pointing to the sheer number of starters with sub 2.00 and sub 3.00 early this season. I, for one, am happy to see more quality pitching and less football scores.

  2. The last team to have as few as 10 home runs in their first 28 games was Boston in 1992.

    Here are the teams with the fewest home run games in their first 28 since 1990. The number refers to players with home run games. Multiple home run games are only counted as 1. Therefore, Boston 1992 is actually 10, not 9.

  3. Mike M. Says:

    Part of this COULD be weather related, we'll have to see what happens as it starts getting hot around the country.

    But yes, it does appear likely that the days of teams averaging 180 home runs or more in a season are over. Steroids will never be completely eliminated from the game, but random testing combined with a few 50 game suspensions has absolutely had an impact, no question.

  4. I, for one, am finding baseball more exciting now than ever. Low-scoring games are more suspenseful and a well-pitched game is a lot more impressive than a HR. I love it.

  5. The overall home run rate is not much lower than it was in 2007-2008. Its the hits that have disappeared.

    Year Tms #Bat BatAge R/G G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
    2010 14 220 29.4 4.49 402 38.28 33.92 4.49 8.70 1.94 0.16 0.96 4.26 0.68 0.26 3.58 6.78 .257 .331 .408 .739 13.85 0.88 0.31 0.21 0.26 0.18
    2009 14 491 29.0 4.82 2270 38.56 34.35 4.82 9.16 1.82 0.17 1.13 4.60 0.68 0.24 3.39 6.74 .267 .336 .428 .764 14.70 0.80 0.32 0.22 0.29 0.18
    2008 14 506 28.9 4.78 2268 38.63 34.44 4.78 9.22 1.89 0.18 1.00 4.56 0.58 0.22 3.32 6.54 .268 .336 .420 .756 14.47 0.84 0.36 0.21 0.30 0.23
    2007 14 495 29.2 4.90 2268 38.71 34.52 4.90 9.34 1.90 0.19 0.99 4.67 0.60 0.22 3.31 6.50 .271 .338 .423 .761 14.60 0.85 0.36 0.22 0.30 0.23
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 5/7/2010.
  6. Raphy how did you make that table?

  7. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    The 2010 singles rate of 5.64 per game is the second lowest of any year since 1901, higher than only 1968 (!). On the other hand, the 2010 doubles rate of 1.94 per game is tied with the 1936 rate for the highest ever.

    Are MLB batters playing by a "no dinks" rule?

  8. I agree with Andy, long live the triple!!! :p
    I didn't know Toronto was leading the pack so far. Maybe they'll finish with a decent win/loss % this year. They won't be first but finishing above .500 with what they have would be nice.

  9. Innuendo Says:

    Since 1960, the lowest home run team totals (for complete seasons only) are the 1979 Astros (NL), with 49, and the 1975 Angels (AL), with 55. Doesn't seem we're on pace to reach either of these lows. Even less the lower totals of the 50s and other decades before that, of course.

  10. The Astros have a .598 OPS? As a team? Sweet merciful Zeus.

  11. Andy et al.

    Jamie Moyer pitched a beauty tonight, Complete 2 hit shutout of the braves. Not bad for a 47 year old. Is he the oldest person to throw a complete game... or even better a complete game shutout?

  12. Innuendo Says:

    If I'm not mistaken, Moyer is... Only 2 other pitchers threw complete game shutouts after their 45th birthday: Charlie Hough and Phil Niekro.

    Hough did it on June 14, 1994, beating the Cardinals 7-0 at Busch Stadium and he was 46 years + 5 months + 9 days old on that day.

    Niekro shut out the Blue Jays 8-0 in Toronto on October 6th, last day of the 1985 season. Then he was 46 years + 6 months + 5 days old.

    Tonight, Moyer is 47 years + 5 months + 19 days old.

  13. Mike Elseroad Says:

    You guys must not have watched the Angels-Red Sox game last night. The Sox won 11-6 and it was one of the worst games that I've ever seen.

    I believe that there were close to 200 total pitches thrown and 11 or 12 walks. Daise Matusaka walked 3 guys in the 1st inning, allowed 4 runs and the that half inning must have taken 1 hour.

    But the reliever the Angels used in the 6th and 7th innings(I don't know his name) was worse than Dice-K. It seemed like ever 2nd pitch that this guy threw bounced before the ball got to home plate.

    I like the quick paced, 3-2, 4-3 games too. But that game last night proved that is still work to be done.

  14. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Although I've been reading and hearing in several places since last night that Moyer was the oldest major leaguer to pitch a complete game shutout, it just hit me that he is the only non-knuckleballer to do this past his 45th birthday.