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The more I get into baseball the more I'm realizing that it's a pitchers game. If a pitcher is unhittable, the opposing team cannot win. I've also read some material on early pitchers in the deadball era that suggested hurlers during that time were actually very smart, and that the game was nearly as intricate then as it is now.

I've also realized that there have been major shifts in how the game is played over time, such as the the style of play during and after the dead-ball era. So what I'm curious about is in what ways has pitching made dramatic shifts since the inception of the MLB?

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I would say that the biggest shift recently has been to specializations and the bullpen. Before, you had a starter that would just throw all 9 innings where now you have starters throwing 6 or 7 innings with a setup man leading to the closer. You also have situation guys like a lefty specialist that can come in to face lefties and more middle-relief guys working less than an inning. This shortened the games for starters because now they just have to try to be effective for those 7 innings instead of worrying about the 3rd and 4th times through the lineup.

Times have also shifted to be a lot more stat based, meaning more effective matchups for the bullpen and starters. They now every stat they could possibly know about every hitter and can therefore make a pretty accurate game plan on what to do when they come up to the plate.

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