For most of us, baseball, the 2015 edition, began yesterday. For the Red Sox, it was an 8–0 victory over the Phillies in which Boston’s Clay Buchholz kept the ball down in the strike zone, where it is tougher for batters to make solid contact. Whereas Cole Hamels of the Phillies kept the ball up in the zone and thereby let the Boston lineup hit four home runs in five innings. (Boston added a fifth, a grand slam, in the ninth inning.)
But low strikes are nothing new. In fact, umpires increasingly have been calling low strikes as seen in this chart by FiveThirtyEight in an article looking at 2015’s trends in baseball. (Interestingly they also chart something on Cole Hamels.) It is not the most complicated chart, but it does serve as a reminder that for the next six months, baseball is back.
Credit for the piece goes to Rob Arthur.