Monday, June 28, 2010

Pitching Dominance Returns to the Driver's Seat

The Steroid Era in Major League Baseball was a decade long black spot in the history of our national pastime. From 1996 to 2006 we watched as players homerun, RBI, and slugging percentages sky rocketed; and we attributed these huge upswings to lesser pitching, better preparation from hitters, corked bats, and even juiced up baseballs. The Mitchell Report was released in 2007, it listed 104 players that tested positive for steroids, including big names such as Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, and Roger Clemens, just to name a few.

The recent spike in perfect games and no hitters in recent MLB seasons shows that the steroid era is officially over, and dominant pitching is returning to the forefront. Pitchers once again have the edge over hitters, and it shows:

No Hitters during Steroid Era:
Eric Milton - 9/11/99
Hideo Nomo - 4/4/01
Derek Lowe - 4/27/02
Al Leiter - 5/11/96
Hideo Nomo - 9/17/96
Kevin Brown - 6/10/97
Pittsburgh (combined) - 7/12/97
Jose Jimenez - 6/25/99
A.J. Burnett - 5/12/01
Bud Smith - 09/03/01
Kevin Millwood - 04/27/03
Astros ( combined) - 6/11/03
Annibal Sanchez - 9/6/06

No Hitters post Steroid Era:
Carlos Zambrano - 9/14/08
Johnathon Sanchez - 7/10/09
Ubaldo Jimenez - 4/17/2010
Edwin Jackson - 6/25/2010
Mark Buehrle - 4/18/2007
Justin Verlander - 6/27/07
Clay Buchholz- 9/1/07
Jon Lester - 5/19/08

Perfect Games during Steroid Era:
David Wells - 5/17/98
David Cone - 7/18/99
Randy Johnson - 5/18/04

Perfect Games post Steroid Era:
Mark Buehrle - 7/23/2009
Dallas Braden - 5/9/2010
Roy Halladay - 5/29/2010
*Armando Galarraga - 6/2/2010 (lost on a blown call by first base umpire Jim Joyce)

From 1996 to 2006 there were 13 no hitters thrown and from 2007 to 2010 there have already been eight. From 1996 to 2006 there have been three perfect games; and from 2007 to 2010 that total has already been matched and should have been surpassed. This stat shows me two things: 1. The pitchers who were able to be dominant throughout the Steroid Era deserve a ton of credit, 2. The Steroid Era is offcially over, and dominant pitching is becoming prevalent once again.


  1. great stats...still think the pitchers have/had an advantage as well by taking "roids" Do not think the era will ever end since mlb can not keep up with newer drugs......

  2. Agreed that some pitches have had an advantage by using steroids, but from what I recall it's mostly closers who use performance enhancers (except Roger Clemens). I think the MLB being able to catch Manny using fertility drugs as a performance enhancer gives great hope on the dedication that the MLB has to stopping steroid usage in baseball. It will be tough to track the new drugs, but I think the plan is in place.