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Sports Illustrated: Power


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Falling home run rates have gone hand in hand with falling levels of overall scoring. This year's 4.10 runs per game is down 1.5 percent from last year's 4.17 per game, down 5.2 percent from 2012's 4.32 per game, and down 11.1 percent from 2009's 4.61 per game, the last time it was above 4.50. It's the lowest rate since the strike-shortened 1981 season (4.00), or since 1978 (4.10) if you prefer full 162-game slates. The combination of factors ? increases in strikeout and groundball rates, pitcher velocities and the number of infield shifts ? has been much discussed at this site and elsewhere, with some suggesting remedies whose consequences may be worse than the problem they purport to solve.
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