Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Newsletter, Excerpt, July 10, 2024 -- "First Shall Be...Sixth?"

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.

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Historically, the first inning has been the highest scoring inning in a baseball game. It is the one inning in which a manager can determine who leads off and who follows, a pretty big advantage. The tradeoff was that the second inning -- when the lower middle and bottom of lineups typically bat -- was the lowest scoring frame. How powerful was this effect? From 1957 through 2021, 64 seasons for our purposes, the first inning was the highest scoring inning 59 times, the second-highest scoring inning four times, and the third-highest scoring inning once. 

In 2022, the first inning was the fifth-highest scoring inning. In 2024, it is the sixth-highest scoring inning. There is absolutely no precedent for this in recorded baseball history.