If I notice pageviews of old posts, I sometimes re-post them on Google+ and twitter. Recently I did that with:
Pitching duel or slugfest? Sunday, July 28, 2013
In order to show their baseball knowledge many baseball fans will say: pitching duel, pretending that a game with little action is preferable to a game with lots of action. Let's consider game seven of two World Series each of which was decided by one run in the bottom of the ninth: 1960 and 2001.
It is now my most viewed post of the month. I just got a comment that inspired this post:
"fans prefer close games... fewer runs mean a better chance of a close game"
At first I thought it made sense but it still begged the original question. In basketball fans can barely stand a 55-50 game much less 2-1. Same in football where points can be scored six at a time. Who wants to watch a 10-7 NFL game?
Do we really prefer low scoring games? The examples I used in the "Pitching duel or slugfest?" post were both one run games, so the slugfest included both elements: action and closeness.
Let's try another pair of examples: 2-1 and 10-5. Which of those seems more appealing? Lack of action in a pitching duel often features aggravation: many base runners stranded. Or lots of strike outs. Or worst of all: weak grounders and popups.
Sure you want that 1-1 game going into the 9th inning?