Where will the game of baseball go next?
This weekend featured a great matchup between the Yankees and Rays in game five of the ALDS. That matchup was almost a microcosm of how advanced pitchers have become, with Mike Petriello pointing out that it was the second hardest fastball game on record.
So average fastball in this game: 97.2. Average. That was the average. The average fastball came in north of 97 mph.
It was the 2nd-hardest fastball game (4/2/sink) on record, by 0.1 MPH. It was the hardest fastball game ever if you include cutters, too.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) October 10, 2020
We’re getting to the point in baseball where 97 MPH is closer to average than elite, which is a massive difference from even half a decade ago. New technology and new mechanical approaches have allowed pitchers to throw harder with greater ease, upping the pressure on hitters.
And yet, on the hitting side, every run scored in that game was a home run. Two of the three runs scored in last night’s ALCS game between the Rays and Astros were home runs. We’ve seen adjustments by hitters which have increased power production, which seems like an appropriate response. Power pitching? Meet power hitting.
With the game of baseball gearing more toward power on both sides, and with the game always evolving, where do you think the next advantage will be found?
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