This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.
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"Overall in the Division Series, there have been 123 hits and 169 strikeouts. You’re 37% more likely to see a strikeout than a hit in any given situation. 28% of all plate appearances have ended in a strikeout. Now take the trends above, with a generation of pitchers that has learned how to get strikeouts in the biggest spots, and leave only the good pitchers, and you see that getting those big hits in the playoffs is harder than it has ever been before. Hence, trying to get as many runs as you can on one swing, regardless of who is on base."