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MLB .244 batting average worst since ‘68, up after crackdown

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a three-run home run against the Chicago White Sox in the...
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a three-run home run against the Chicago White Sox in the third inning during a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and White Sox are playing at a temporary stadium in the middle of a cornfield at the Field of Dreams movie site, the first Major League Baseball game held in Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)(Charlie Neibergall | AP)
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 8:58 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (AP) — The major league batting average dropped to .244 this season, its lowest since the year of the pitcher in 1968.

But offense picked up markedly following baseball’s midseason crackdown on grip-enhancing substances for pitchers. MLB ended a run of 12 consecutive full seasons in which strikeouts had set records annually. From opening day through June 2, batters hit .236 with a .395 slugging percentage, a .707 OPS and an average of 4.36 runs per team each game.

From June 3 through the end of the regular season, the average rose to .248 with a .419 slugging percentage, a .738 OPS and an average of 4.62 runs per team.

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