Game 2014.53: Tigers at Mariners

Sometimes the other pitcher is just better. You gotta tip your cap to Chris Young. Lots of fly balls, but lots of weak fly balls and pop-ups. The Mariners eeked out two runs on a bloop, a hope, and a prayer, and we just gotta understand that this will happen over a long season.

This good pitching thing shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, as pitchers are dominating like no other time in recent history. SI had a great article about this a few weeks ago – but here’s a brief AL historical comparison using SO/9 and FIP ERA.

1984: 5.01/4.02

1994: 6.1/4.74

2004: 6.4/4.53

2014: 7.6/3.87

That is a tremendous jump in K/9 as strikeouts are up over 50% in 30 years. I’d have to go back and look, but sub 4 ERAs league wide is definitely a new phenomenon.

Now let’s look at hitting – I’ll use OPS.

1984: .724

1994: .779

2004: .771

2014: .715

As you can see, 2014 is likely going to set a recent historic low for hitting in the AL. The same is true in the NL. SI credited this to the rise of the power pitcher, bullpen specialization, and a slightly larger strike zone.

I don’t mind the pitching dominance, but let’s keep this in mind as the Tigers get bettered by average pitching from time to time.

Also, you may like this recent article by Tom Verducci talking about the ever slowing pace of play, with ideas on how to fix it.

On to today’s game – Mad Max climbs the hill for a 4:10 eastern start against Roenis Elias. Scherzer has been bombed his last two starts out, though he managed to avoid a decision in either game. I’m looking forward to a typical Scherzer dominating performance and a comfortable series win headed into an off day. I mean, we’re not going to go two weeks without winning a series, right?

Traveling later today, please post the lineup when avail.