Monday, May 23, 2011

"Year of the Pitcher"

If you liked last summer's Year of the Pitcher, you're probably going to love the sequel. For the second straight season, offense is down — way down — with teams hitting just .251, the worst mark this late in a season since 1972. Teams are averaging less than 4.2 runs a game, and on-base percentage and slugging percentage are at their lowest points in two decades.

Earlier this month, Detroit's Justin Verlander and Minnesota's Francisco Liriano threw no-hitters on consecutive days — this not too many seasons removed from a 2-year, 6,000-game span without a no-hitter. In the last 12 months, there have been eight no-hitters, including two perfect games.

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