Monday, June 1, 2015


We'll keep going in bits and pieces on this subject, and will return to it ASAP as time permits.

Moving from the decline in "ultra-quick hooks," we are best advised to now look at the overall distribution of starting pitcher inning ranges for all games started over the past century. (Again, thanks to Retrosheet and Forman et fils for developing and "accessible-izing" this data.)

The table (at right) shows the percentage of games in each time range (1914-1929 at first, followed by decade breakdowns up to the present day). The decline curve for the < 1 IP games that we showed you in the previous post is going to be dwarfed by the one for those games in which the starting pitcher went 9-9.67 IP. We'll show you that comparison a bit later on.

We've color-coded this chart to show the direction of change--orange for when the percentages are rising, and yellow for when they are declining. We added a little "color intensity" (and here's to "Fright-Quote-R-Us-dot-com," the folks who "sponsor" our merry little adventures....) to certain of the data cells to show a more rapid rate of decline.

The bold type shows which column has the highest percentage of games in each "time zone." As you can see, the "baton" gets passed from 9-9.67 IP to 7-7.67 in the 1980s, and then moves on to 6-6.67 IP in the 90s, which is now consolidating its lead as we move forward.

Next up: winning percentages and all that "rot."