Put this in the “Duh!” category…
I was listening to WHB 810 Tuesday afternoon (I know, bad idea). Kevin Keitzman said something like, “most baseball games are won after the 6th inning”. He was saying that our strong bullpen can help the Royals win ballgames this year.
Danny Clinkscale said that most games are won before the 6th inning. Both of them talked about this at great length without anyone ever doing any research on it. That bugged me, so I decided to look it up.
Good ol’ Baseball Reference came through again. They have a page that lists exactly this kind of statistic. It’s called “Record when tied, leading or behind at the start of the inning.” Here is the shocking thing (to me anyway) – 70% of ALL baseball games in 2010 were won by the team that had the lead AT THE TOP OF THE 2ND INNING! Here are the figures for all innings.
Inning/Winning % of team with lead
And to think, I used to feel bad when I left at the bottom of the 7th inning.
There’s another chart on the same page that shows the number of times leads were gained and lost during games. For a semi-stat-head like me, it is pretty intriguing.
BR page here.