Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Major League pitching has changed drastically over the last few years. For example, the 2010 and 2011 seasons combined to produce nine no-hitters. The previous 10 seasons saw a total of 15. Collective ERAs are down in recent years (from 4.77 in 2000 to 3.94 in 2011), as are batting averages (from .270 in 2000 to .255 in 2011). Admittedly, these are very small sample sizes considering organized baseball began in 1871. But that raises an even bigger question: If baseball has changed this much over the last 12 years, how has it changed over the last 140? Any perhaps more importantly, why has it changed?