Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
I agree that breaking balls are used at a much higher rate than ever before. Not only are they thrown more often, they are thrown harder and there are more varieties.
Pitchers also throw their fastballs much harder than in the golden age. Pitchers are much taller and stronger than they used to be. The average fastball velocity has been rising every year. Throwing harder puts more stress on the shoulder and elbow.
Pitching is more difficult than ever because the fences are closer, the balls are bouncier, the bats are denser, the strike zone is smaller, the mound is lower, and the hitters are bigger, stronger and better than ever before. The days of facing only two or three real threats in a batting order are long gone. The pitcher has to throw with max effort and concentration on every pitch, making the strain on his arm much more severe.
Since the turn of the millenium, smarter handling of pitchers along with highly effective modern surgical and rehabilitation procedures have kept many star pitchers on the mound that would otherwise have been replaced with lesser pitchers. This is the major reason why scoring has been declining since the year 2000. In the 80's and 90's all the changes to the game favored the hitters, but in recent years the science of pitching has evolved so much that it has offset most of the offensive advantages. Improved defensive metrics have increased the understanding and value of good defense, which has also contributed to the recent decline in scoring even though players are bigger and stronger now than they were during the steroid era.
That's pretty much what I said, only you said it a lot better than I did.
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