Comments on: All-time K/BB ratio http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: Joe http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26503 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 22:15:29 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26503 I'm surprised that nobody has brought up what I think is the number one reason for increased strikeouts in modern times - the fact that there is far less of a stigma attached to batters striking out today than there used to be. Teams are starting to just accept that when you have a guy like Mark Reynolds, Adam Dunn, Ryan Howard, etc., he's going to strike out 200 or more times a year, and there's nothing really wrong with that, because the thought is that making these guys change their approach at the plate to strike out less isn't worth the potential side effect of decreased offensive production. More and more people are promoting the idea that in the grand scheme of things, a strikeout is just another out, no worse than any other out.

In the past, the thinking was very different. Batters made more of a conscious effort to not strike out. It was an embarrassment to get struck out, and a matter of pride to at least put the ball in play. Guys would choke up on the bat, cut down on their swings, etc. You don't really see anybody doing that today, outside of the occasional throwback hitter like Juan Pierre, Jason Kendall, etc. The thinking has drastically changed, and unless that thinking changes back again for some reason, I don't see strikeouts going back down significantly anytime soon.

]]>
By: Jim http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26445 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 17:19:05 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26445 I have to agree with Dan, there are tons of relievers (i.e. Lidge, Rivera) who have shockingly high K/9 ratios because they pitch so few innings

]]>
By: Dan http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26442 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 16:57:58 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26442 One other thought on the reason for increased strikeouts: The expanded role of relief pitching. Most pitchers before 1950 or so tried to go 9 innings every time. My understanding is that relief pitchers were only used when absolutely. Today when a pitcher can throw at top speeds with his best stuff for 7 innings, and then 2 relievers throwing with their best stuff for one inning each, there is a higher likelihood of more strikeouts. I believe the specialization of pitchers could be a determining factor in the increase of strikeouts.

]]>
By: nightfly http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26437 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 16:10:18 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26437 Andy - I think there's a simple reason why 3000K is still very hard to achieve despite higher strikeout rates: people throw fewer innings. It's hard to get to 4000 IP (200 over 20 years) on 30-33 starts per year, especially if a pitcher is only expected to get through six innings.

Also, these are harder innings in general. When anyone 1-9 can tag your pitches, there are no opportunities to coast through weak hitters and simply let them bounce it to the waiting infield. That's probably why people don't pitch to contact anymore... it's a shortcut to a conga line around the bases.

]]>
By: insignificantwrangler http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26431 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 15:03:01 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26431 Could pitch selection influence/explicate these numbers? I am but an amateur historian of the game, but didn't there used to be a kind of historic bias against the curve ball? And I believe Nolan Ryan remarks on how the game changed in the 1960's, with pitchers throwing far more breaking pitches and far fewer fastballs. Or is this just legend?

]]>
By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26430 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 15:02:45 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26430 Bryan, yes there is a difference. I will post it in graph form later today or tomorrow.

]]>
By: Bryan Mueller http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26429 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 14:59:58 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26429 Is there a significant difference between strikeout rates for pitchers in the National League compared to that of the American League since the DH? Over the course of the season, pitchers do get a good number of at-bats so I was wondering if that would show up on a graph comparing pitchers from both leagues.

]]>
By: Andy http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26428 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 14:32:54 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26428 DavidRF, thanks that makes a lot more sense actually. I have adjusted the text above.

Ellis, strikeouts tend to be correlated with offense. In other words, when offense goes down, it's not usually because strikeouts have gone up. It's usually the opposite--when offense is up, players are more free-swinging, which leads to both more runs and also more strikeouts.

]]>
By: Ellis http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26427 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 14:19:35 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26427 "The data for 2010 shows that offense is receding and I would not be terribly surprised to see the strikeout rate start to drop over the next several years."

If the offense is receding, wouldn't be expect the strikeout rate to increase?

]]>
By: DavidRF http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6896/comment-page-1#comment-26426 Tue, 22 Jun 2010 14:07:48 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=6896#comment-26426 The dip in K rate was 1988, not 1987. 1988-92 was a period of low offense era so it seems strange it was a period of lower strikeouts.

I've read about the post-WWII walk boom before, but I've never heard about the large drop in K-rates in the late 1910s. I wonder what caused that.

]]>