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Strikeouts up, averages down

Updated: April 3, 2013, 5:07 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Do you feel that cool breeze?

It might not be the unseasonably cold April weather; it might be major league hitters' rising swing-and-miss rates. While we caution the dangers of interpreting small samples, through three days of baseball the trend is stark: The Major League Baseball strikeout rate is 23.7 percent, batting average is .217, and swing-and-miss rate is 25.2 percent. Each one would represent an all-time worst.

That's not to suggest that we should extrapolate ...

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