Stathead -- the folks at Sports Reference, the people behind the incomparable Baseball Reference -- is exceptionally powerful, but slicing and dicing data can be frustrating. This is the output of the work I did for this morning's column, as you can see, there's no way to derive game result at that level, so yes, I had to go one-by-one through the no-decision games to come up with a record. That wasn't fun, but when I noticed that the Brewers were struggling more as the strikeout totals diminished, particularly noticeable under 5 K/gm, that's when I started paying closer attention.
As the Brewers have gone all-in on launching the ball in recent seasons at the cost of increased strikeouts, it would appear to be a conscious overcorrection with an attempt to paper over their fundamental and long-standing inability to successfully put the ball in play, which comes from both sound plate principles and pitch recognition and adjustment, as Will Sammon notes in his piece last week in The Athletic. One hopes that the new hitting coach tandem of Timmons and Dawson, attorneys at law, and their do what you do well philosophy is representative of a sea change under the Stearns-Arnold administration.
But hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports! Give the boys a break! No. We ought not make excuses for professional atheletes because we deem -- rightly -- what they do to be difficult. They are professional baseballers precisely because the job is difficult and is something you and I cannot do well, in the same way that brain surgeons ought not be excused from a procedural mistake or consequence because what they do is intricate and requires the utmost precision.
Yes, this is a new era of dominant pitching, but it is also a byproduct of teams' offensive mindsets changing into a crude 'hit ball far' mantra. Pitchers look better than they are when they are freely given outs and strikeouts, which brings us full circle to this morning's column.