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Two Super-Quick Playoff Points

Cody Ro$$
Cody Ro$$

(1) If it feels like offense has been down quite a bit in this month's playoffs, there's a reason for that. Pitchers have combined for an RA of 3.79 - 3.79 total runs per nine innings - while hitters have combined for a batting line of .231/.298/.371. The average playoff RA for the decade has been 4.29, and this is the lowest it's been in any single year since 2001. Meanwhile, the average playoff OPS for the decade has been .725, and this is the lowest it's been in any single year since, yeah, 2001. It makes sense that the two would go together.

There've been three strikeouts for every walk, which is the highest K/BB in the years that I've looked at (although I've only gone back to 2000). It's not all Cliff Lee, either; without him, the K/BB is still 2.7, which remains the highest, relative to a decade average of 2.2.

Kudos to the Rangers and Yankees, who are the only teams of the eight to post a total OPS north of .676.

(2) How come we never talk about playoff statistics? Or, rather, how come we never talk about playoff statistics and regular season statistics together? Pete Rose doesn't lead baseball all-time with 4,256 hits. He leads baseball all-time with 4,342 hits, because he batted .321 over 14 series in the playoffs. I know it's a little different, since numbers in the playoffs can be harder to put up, but it's not like those are exhibition games. They're real games, and they should be real numbers.

Cody Ross is going to be entering his final year of arbitration. A lot of people are going to be talking about how he's coming off a down season that saw him post a .735 OPS. But he hasn't posted a .735 OPS. Including the playoffs, he's posted a .771 OPS, which is barely down from last season's .790, and the .804 he put up the year before that. Ross has been the same guy. He's just chosen a later time for a hot streak.

As soon as the playoffs start, all so many media members and so many fans talk about are the small-sample playoff numbers, so we hear about them all the time. Then as soon as the playoffs are over, they're forgotten. Those numbers count.