20-0: The Pirates get keel-hauled by the Brewers

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In this morning’s And That Happened recaps I said about the Pirates: “when they lose, they don’t mess around. They go out there and lose with
gusto.”  They just took things to a whole new level, getting beat by the Brewers (gulp) 20-0 this afternoon, setting the mark for the worst shutout ever. The Brewers outscored the Pirates 36-1 in their three-game series.

I only managed to catch the end of this debacle, but the two things of note I saw:

  • The Pirates played the infield in with runners on base in the ninth, trailing 16-0. Jon Heyman had the line of the day on that one, noting that “you never want
    that 17th run coming home!”

  • The Brewers brought in Trevor Hoffman to pitch the ninth with a 20-0 lead. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that he’s never had a bigger cushion (UPDATE: yep, this was his biggest cushion*). And no, don’t jump on the Brew Crew for bringing him in. He hadn’t pitched in a week, so this was just a workout for him.

I’d go through the box score and pass on the highs and lows, but this one was just too ugly for words.

*Thanks to Matthew Pouliot — whose Baseaball-Reference Play Index-fu is vastly superior to my own.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.