Thursday, May 2, 2013

Strike Three! You're Out!

I heard an interesting bit of baseball trivia today.

There were 5,992 strikeouts in April.  That is the highest strikeout total in any April in baseball history.

That works out to an average of 15.29 strikeouts per major league game or almost 8 per team.  That is the second-highest average for a full month in baseball history.

However, these strikeouts do not seem to be an isolated event but a major change in the way the game is played.  According to the Elias Sport Bureau...

The April average of 15.29 strikeouts per major-league game was the second-highest average in a full month in major-league history... The record was set just last September, when there was an average of 15.47 strikeouts per game. And that brings us to the larger point: Over the 138-year history of Major League Baseball, the top eight months on that list - that is, the list of months with the highest average of strikeouts per game - are the last eight months.

You read that correctly. Not eight-of-the-last-12, or eight-of-the-last-10, but eight-of-the-last-eight. There were 14.91 strikeouts in September 2011, 14.63 in April 2012, followed by 14.93 last May, 15.01 last June, 15.07 in July, 14.68 in August, the record 15.47 in September and now 15.29 in April 2013. Those are the eight highest monthly strikeout averages in baseball history.

Photo Credit: John Grieshop, SB Nation

All of these strikeouts have cost a local pizza chain in my hometown of Cincinnati over $100,000 in free pizzas so far this season.  This story from Fox19 in Cincinnati provides the background.

Anytime Reds pitchers combine for 11 or more strikeouts in a game during the 2013 season, win or lose, every ticket holder at Great American Ball Park wins a free LaRosa's pizza as part of a special promotion.

Officials say 11 batters have been struck out by Reds pitchers 7 times so far this year at Great American Ball Park. It's great for the stat lines and even better for hungry fans.

"We felt comfortable last year deciding at more than 11, we'd create the free pizza giveaway. It just so happens this year the Reds are blowing away all their previous records," said Mike LaRosa, Chief Executive Officer.

Starting the day after the game, fans have a week to redeem their ticket for free pizza.Reds officials say all of the free pizza this season has cost the restaurant around $100,000. We asked, why the number 11?

"11 was the number that was possibly going to be achieved 10 to 11 times throughout the whole season in the home games," explained LaRosa.

What gives?  Why so many strikeouts?  Are the pitchers that much better or are the hitters that much worse?

It will be interesting to keep an eye on this stat during the season.  And if you like pizza, it might be worth a trip to Great American Ball Park sometime during the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment