More Strikeouts Than Hits? Baseball’s Latest Crisis

www.nytimes.com

It doesn't get more retro or nostalgic than baseball. Tyler Kepner:

This could be the first season in major league history to feature more strikeouts than hits, a slowdown that worries many league officials. Thirty years ago, batters compiled nearly 13,000 more hits than strikeouts. Last season, that edge dwindled to about 2,000. This season, through Wednesday, it was nearly even, with hits only slightly ahead: 30,678 hits, 30,569 strikeouts.
Fifteen years ago, only seven qualified pitchers averaged 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Now, 8.4 is the major league average. Collectively, batters are hitting .248, the lowest average since 1972, the year before baseball introduced the designated hitter.

Those of us who follow baseball have all heard too much at this point about the trend towards all-or-nothing. The record number of homers and the record number of strikeouts. But more strikeouts than hits would be wild. Though not as wild as pitchers averaging more strikeouts per nine innings than what the elite pitchers did just fifteen years ago. Someone really needs to let go of the past and fix baseball before it's too late.

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