It’s the year of the pitcher.

The rookie pitcher—Stephen Strasburg, the perfect pitcher(s)—Roy Halladay, Dallas Braden, the breakout pitcher—Ubaldo Jiménez.

And recently, the robbed pitcher—Armando Galarraga.

Pick any of these fine talents, and you’ll quickly find out that they have dominated the headlines of the first quarter of the Major League season.

And there’s good reason for this. Strasburg is quite possibly the most hyped rookie in the history of baseball. Anyone who’s seen him pitch will tell you he’s worthy of the praise.

Braden and Halladay each threw a perfect game in the same month—the 19th and 20th of all time.

Ubaldo Jiménez is primed to have one of the greatest seasons a pitcher has had in the last 20 years. The lanky Rockies pitcher has boasted a sub-1.00 ERA for the better part of the season so far.

And then there’s Armando Galarraga, who will unquestionably go down as the victim of one of the most unjust calls in baseball history.

We’ve witnessed a common denominator in these sizable headlines that have permeated the baseball world: They’re all pitching-oriented.

The steroid era, as far as we can tell, is coming to a close. Power numbers are dipping, no previously anonymous player is on pace for 50 home runs, and even big names like Albert Pujols and Mark Teixeira are seeing significant downturns in their production.

This is a testament to a new style of game introduced by the sabermetric movement or more popularly referred to as the “Moneyball” movement. Teams are now looking to get faster, smarter, and more efficient. On the market, players are no longer solely evaluated on sheer power or RBI potential. They are largely scrutinized for their ability to get on base and score runs. Not produce them.

That’s one of the reasons for the emergence of Joe Mauer, Robinson Cano, and Austin Jackson—superstars that rely more on generating contact than generating round-trippers. These are the guys that really give pitchers fits because they are always on base.

The problem is, fewer and fewer guys have been driving them in on a consistent basis.

It seems that the stronger pitching this year is stifling power hitters because their game is too geared to swing from the heels and watching it fly over the fence. The prevalence of eye-popping home run totals is fleeting due to the inability of hitters to hit home runs off of significantly better pitchers.

There’s even more bad news on the way with Stephen Strasburg and Cuban flamethrower, Aroldis Chapman, rapidly making their ways onto the big league stage. It’s no secret that pitchers are getting smarter, better, and more equipped to deal with the stronger hitters of the last two decades.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing for die-hard baseball fans. For them, baseball is a game of patience and calculation, much different from basketball and football where it’s all about power and show-stopping plays.

Baseball is played much more deliberately and carefully. The steroid era took a significant toll on the plight of the pitcher. The game had taken a noticeable turn in favor of the hitters and it seemed like it would stay that way with then up-and-comers Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard expected to smash 40-50 home runs a season.

As of the 2010 season, however, it’s all changed. Fielder and Howard, as well as power hitters the league over, are going through slumps. Pitchers are moving back on top of the sport as evidenced by the aforementioned pitchers—some of them well known, a few of them obscure, who have had a historic moment in the sun.

Thanks in part to them, baseball is seeing a changing of the guard—such is the fickle nature of America’s pastime.

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