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Last month was the strikeout-i-est April in baseball history

May 2, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT

Delmon Young

From the Elias Sports Bureau, passed along by Buster Olney this morning:

There were 5,992 strikeouts in April, the highest April strikeout total in any season in major-league history. And it’s not just the total of strikeouts that was noteworthy; the average of 15.29 strikeouts per major-league game during April was the second-highest average in a full month in major-league history.

Thanks, Astros and Braves.

There has been a lot of talk about the increased strikeouts, with many blaming an overuse of the take-and-rake approach, others blaming any number of things.  I don’t know that I’ve seen any one explanation that seems satisfactory, though.  Like most things I’m sure it’s a combination of factors, even if people looking at such things almost always search for a single factor because that seems more satisfying.

  1. El Bravo - May 2, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Aw man, of all the teams to throw up in the pic….well played, sir. Well played.

    Dunner says “you’re welcome” as well.

    • kevinbnyc - May 2, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      I thought the same thing. No chance he didn’t do that on purpose. Well played, Craig.

  2. vanrossum1 - May 2, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Craig is a troll

    • chill1184 - May 2, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      …and yet Phillies fans continue to take the bait

      • historiophiliac - May 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        I hope they never stop.

      • vanrossum1 - May 2, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        Who said I was a Phillies fan. Every other blogger on here write relatively informative pieces. Craig brings down the quality of content average.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 2, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        Give him credit – Craig is a Master Baiter

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 2, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Troll Hall of Fame Moment – in an article talking about strikeouts in the month April, Craig features a photo of a player who had zero strikeouts in April

    Thats as radomn as me saying Mystery Team.

    Mystery Team

    • paperlions - May 2, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      Well, he did K in 23.5% of his MiLB rehab PAs.

      What the responses to Craig show me is just that Philly fans (as a group), have little sense of humor.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 3, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        I think the lack of humor in this instance would be on you – the “Troll Hall of Fame” does not actually exist, you realize :)

      • paperlions - May 3, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        What I mean is that Craigs jibes mostly seem to be in the spirit of fan smack talk, and not real trolling, and rather than engage in a back and forth….Phillies fans (as a group, though not to a man/woman) seem to just get angry and throw out the “troll” label…usually, inaccurately.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 3, 2013 at 12:20 PM

        Well – true. But in this specific case, using Delmon Young was used (in my opinion) for the specific purpose of eliciting a reponse – which is the text book definition of trolling (if it possible to have text book definitions for such internet phenomena).

        But to be clear, I am not one of those who blames him. I just give it back :) It’s all fun and games, and it beats doing my job during the day

        Mystery Team

  4. jaysjunkie - May 2, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    The Blue Jays certainly did their part, too.

    • jeffa43 - May 2, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      If you remove 4 Astro players, we would not be close to the record.

      1. Chris Carter who K’d 45 times in April breaking the record by 8 for most in a month in MLB history.
      2. Brett Wallace had 17 in 24 at bats, before demotion.
      3. Rick Ankiel 32 k in 53 at bats.
      4. Carlos “human Rain delay” Pena… 32 in 97 ab.

      4 & 1 represent our 3, 4 hitters…. Pena has to go.

      Go Stros! My team!

  5. jfk69 - May 2, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    THE MESSTS own a huge part of that record. Di not deny them their greatness.

  6. indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    I think all those swings and misses are contributing to climate change. Cumulative wind fluctuations or something. Expect fewer strikeouts in May as Rays pitchers get a microscopic strike zone for insubordination.

    What sounds better? Strike-i-est or strike-in-est? I’m debating myself.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 2, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      I would have gone the opposite route – stricken-less

    • El Bravo - May 2, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      I debate myself every day. Are we talking bout the same thing?

      • dluxxx - May 2, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Uhh, Master Debater???

      • indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        I don’t think so. Great, now I have a Divinyls earworm. RIP Christina Amphlett.

      • historiophiliac - May 2, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        I love that song. RIP

    • El Bravo - May 2, 2013 at 12:42 PM


      • indaburg - May 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        Striker, Striker, Striker…

    • stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      I am going with strike-i-est. It is more fun to say.

  7. chacochicken - May 2, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    So let’s game theory this whole approach a bit. Hitters are taking the first pitch at a very high rate (I should probably try to figure that out, but I think that it is true from simple observation). If hitters begin to hack at those first pitch strikes again (question #2 How many first pitch HRs did Mike Trout have last season?) will that produce less strike outs and more balls in play? There after, forcing pitchers to throw more outside the strike zone on first pitches? Chaco Chicken and the egg, huh?

    • Ralph - May 2, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      Chaco, has done a lot of analysis on first pitch strikes and the importance of it. It’s not quite what you’re looking for, but very interesting reading nonetheless.

      The Importance of Strike 1, Part 1
      The Importance of Strike 1, Part 2
      Swinging at first pitch and game theory

      That last one is probably most along the lines of what you’re looking for.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      There was a guy who wrote the book “The Science of Hitting.” In the book…he said to NEVER, EVER swing at the 1st pitch. The idea being that it not only makes (helps) you become a better hitter…it also forces the pitcher to throw more pitches (as a rule). The dude who wrote this book was a pretty good hitter. I do…what he suggests. I always have. Figure he isn’t a bad guy to try to emulate.

      • jwbiii - May 2, 2013 at 5:29 PM

        John Underwood?

  8. dluxxx - May 2, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I can tell you one team that isn’t striking out a ton of people. The Twins.

    Although they’ve managed to stay at an even .500 record, they are not striking anyone out. They have a total of 128 strikeouts as a team through the month of April (average of 5.56 K/9 as a team). As a whole we knew they wouldn’t strike many out, but the staff was supposed to be inducing a ton of groundballs -and so far – they’re pretty much league average in that department.

    • dluxxx - May 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Also, of those 128 strikeouts, less than half of them were from our starting staff (60). Hernandez had one more strikeout in two relief appearances, but that’s still pretty bad. Like 2.6 strikeouts per start bad.

      Love me some Twins, but boy I can’t wait to see the likes of Myer, Mays and Berrios.

  9. historiophiliac - May 2, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Clearly, Batman did something very, very wrong and Batwoman is making him pay by trolling his own team while she gloats about those bat-awesome Tiger K records. Like you don’t know who’s in charge in the Bat Cave…

    (psst, dude, she’s gonna leave you for a woman in one of the greatest comic book ironies ever)

  10. uuddlrlrbastart - May 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    During yesterday’s Met game they displayed a graphic that showed the eight highest monthly rates of strikeouts per game have been the last eight regular season months. If the eight highest monthly rates of home runs per game were the last eight months, wouldn’t people be screaming steroids at the top of their lungs? Not that it would be the explanation, necessarily, but it would be happening.

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