Comparing 2012 offense to 2011 (it’s crashing and burning, folks)

Here’s a quick look at offensive numbers in 2012 vs 2012. Both are through the first 142 games of each season.

(First number is 2011, second number is 2012, all are on a per-game basis):

             2011  2012
Runs scored: 4.56  4.02
HR:          1.06  0.99
2B:          1.65  1.61
BB:          3.20  3.13
K:           7.01  7.42
BA:           .255  .235
SLG:          .406  .385

Ummm…wow. Offense is way down so far this year compared to the same timeframe last year, and last year’s offense continued the overall trend of decline.

If run scoring remains this low for the entire season, it will be the lowest since 1981 (strike-shortened) and 1976 (full-season).

Look  in particular at the strikeouts, which are ridiculously high, up nearly 6% from last year, and last year was a record year for strikeouts!!

UPDATE:

Here are numbers through the first 172 games of each season, 2011 and 2012. All numbers are per game.

      2011  2012   % change in 2012
R     4.55   4.06    -11%
HR    0.98   0.95    -3%
2B    1.75   1.64    -6%
K     6.94   7.51    +8%
BB    3.22   3.14    -2%
BA     .256   .237   -7%
SLG    .404   .383   -5%

These numbers are even more divergent than a couple of days ago!!

Here are some pitching numbers, beyond Ks and BBs as shown above:

            2011     2012      % change in 2012
ERA         4.13     3.66         -11%
IP/start    5.86     5.92         +1%
WHIP        1.334    1.237        -7%

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32 Comments on "Comparing 2012 offense to 2011 (it’s crashing and burning, folks)"

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Lawrence Azrin
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It’s 1968 all over again! So who’s going to win 30 games?

Serious question – what’s the 2011-2012 comparison for BABIP? Because the extra-base hits and walks are down only slightly, most of the decrease in scoring may be due to a random unlucky variation of BABIP, and will stabilize to 2011 levels fairly quickly. Thoughts?

Ed
Guest

My Indians are doing their part. Team slash line of .153/.270.287.

Michael
Guest

I don’t know if 6 games per team makes a decent sample size (which I’m sure is more than well understood by Andy, who has more baseball knowledge in any appendage of his choice than I have).

The Cardinals are doing their part to buck the trend. Prior to today:
.310/.380/.532
Runs: 5.667/game
HR: 1.833/game
2B: 2.167/game
BB: 3.833/game
K: 8.333/game (ouch)

Logan
Guest

Six games per team isn’t a lot, but keep in mind the BA/SLG numbers are over more than 5000 plate appearances each year. Definitely statistically significant.

Michael
Guest

I’m not sure I disagree with that theory. 5000 ABs is a large number to be sure. But that assumes a level of complete independence between individual ABs, player ABs, game ABs, and team ABs that doesn’t exist. We are not talking about 5000 independent events, as this does not take into consideration the health of the 700 or so involved, weather, or anything else.

Is the information compelling? Yes. Is it a small sample size? Yes.

Paul E
Guest

And just why did Matheny sit Beltran, Berkman, and Freese? I realize they’re both older and Freese has a history of injuries as well as the day game after a night game thing, but it is 60 degrees and only April. How about resting those guys against the Pirates instead of the most likely contender for the NL Central flag?

Anyway, 4-3 loss. Freese had a PH appearance and K’d on 4 pitches

Michael
Guest

Agreed. I suppose there’s the “hey..we’re 5-1” argument…but that’s best when you’re 10 games up and it’s late September. It’s the Reds. This is not the team you want to use to gin up some ABs for Carpenter and Descalso. Be up 9-0 in the 8th and put them in.

Evan
Guest

Berkman left Tuesday’s game early with a reportedly minor injury.

David
Guest

Curious (seriously) if unseasonably warm temperatures (on average) are favoring pitchers early on.

Bill Chuck
Guest

The warmer weather is usually better for hitters. Last season, we started with cold miserable weather.

Andy
Guest

It’s an interesting question, Bill. Warmer weather is usually better for hitters, but obviously we usually see warmer weather later in the year, when injuries to pitchers have mounted, as well as tired arms. It’s not immediately obvious to me what warmer weather in April means.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Anectdotally, higher temperatures increase offense; the summer of 1987 was one of the hottest ever, and runs/game spiked (4.72 – highest between 1950 and 1994).

Michael
Guest

By vote for bad luck team this early in the seasons: Pittsburgh. 4 games. 2-2. All one run games. Team ERA? 1.50.

Paul E
Guest

Yeah, but, that low ERA is a reflection of pitching against the Phillies AAA also-rans 🙂

Craig
Guest

This happens when you’re forced to try to score runs off of Halladay, Lee, and Kershaw. That’s their bad luck.

John Autin
Editor
Interesting topic, Andy. My first hunch was that such a small sample is meaningless — but a look at recent history suggests it actually may have some predictive value. I looked at the first 5 games for each team for the previous 11 years, 2001-11, and compared the average R/G for those games to the year-end total. (Note that this is a slightly different set than Andy’s “first 142 MLB games,” leading to slightly different numbers.) – The average difference between early scoring and overall scoring was +/- 6.1%. – Just once was the early scoring more than 10% different… Read more »
Mark in Sydney
Guest

A somewhat bold, early call, there Andy 🙂

Last year Boston finished 90-72 after a 0-6 start. By the end of May they were 30-25. They are now 1-4. Does this mean that they are going to have a better or worse season than last year?

Or have I misread you completely?

John Autin
Editor

Mark, would you be surprised to find that teams that start 0-6 generally have very poor final records?

John Autin
Editor

Ignore my #18 — I misread Mark’s point.

Neil L.
Guest

I’d say the offensive trend was typified by the Japan series to open the ML baseball season.

Thanks for digging up the early-year numbers for 2011 and 2012, Andy.

Home runs, of course, are affected by air temperature which relates inversely to air density so it may be a cold-weather blip in northern parks.

Littleball is upon us, but how long will it take managers to realize it? 🙂

bstar
Guest

Either that, Neil, or it was just the Mariners and A’s playing. 🙂

trackback

[…] This post from High Heat Stas came out yesterday so it doesn’t account for the Rockies’ little conga line around the basepaths against the Giants last night. But at least through Tuesday night the offense has been putrid across the league. […]

Neil L.
Guest

May be too late to post back here, but 2011, for some reason, was a particularly start for hitters. Althrough runs per game may have started out at 4.56 for the first 142 games, it settled down into a more normal 4.28 by the end of the season.

This year, hitters are off to a slow start.

jack
Guest

Maybe I’m missing something, but there have only been 110 games played so far this year? Can somebody explain to me where the 142 and 172 numbers are coming from? Maybe I’m missing something, but surprised nobody has pointed this out yet.

John Autin
Editor

Jack — Andy and others are counting “team-games,” because offense is usually expressed in terms of runs per team per game. An actual game constitutes 2 team-games.

Neil L.
Guest

Scoring is starting to bounce back nicely. As of Friday the 13th, the ML average runs per game is back to 4.14,compared to least year’s full-season total of 4.28 RPG.

The ML RPG is likely to go up a couple of hundredths after today with a couple of big scores.

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