Soul to Soul was a group that formed in the 1980s. Their first song, Caron Wheeler’s powerful line, was played on a joint. “Back to life. Back to reality.”That’s the song that baseball plays as it moves from its offensive mutation to the defensive. “The Steroid Era” into a new “Pitcher’s Paradise.”

The 2012 MLB PlayoffsThis new era of pitching dominance has been ushered in with authority. The World Series pits the pitching-potent, light-lumbered San Francisco Giants against the golden arm of the Detroit Tigers. On the World Series stage, the flow of the show will be controlled by the stud pitchers.

Sports fans should see the WS because of the intense pressure that each playoff pitch brings and the greater importance of each run. The excitement, intrigue, and value of low-scoring games is highlighted by the duels between nail-biting pitchers. The authentic spark has been restored to baseball by taking the juice out.

The past half-decade has seen a revival in the mojo of MLB hurlers, bringing us back to the days of Sandy Koufax and Bullet Bob Gibson. The main reason is the end of widespread steroid abuse. Public humiliation and harsher penalties have been major deterrents to PED use in baseball. The number of games suspended for positive drug testing in 2006 was increased to 50. In 2007, the Mitchell Report, commissioned by Bud Selig, exposed the epidemic and damaged the reputations baseball’s most prominent players. Some were even brought in front of Congress, and exposed as liars.

The effects of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs hit baseball like a tsunami in the early 1990s. As when crack was discovered in Oaktown, Texas in the 1980s. After 1994’s MLB strike, player usage spiked. By 1996, homeruns had reached an average of 177 games per year. This number is far higher than the 126 average homeruns per game during the last clean era of MLB — 1978-1990, when Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, George Brett and Eddie Murray put up impressive numbers “official” power numbers.

Klitschko brothers-looking and 60-homer-hitting droids have gone. See how the numbers have changed from 2000, when no one threw any no-hitters. The season’s pitchers were “making it rain”Like Lil’ Wayne, he had seven no-hitters along with three perfect games. Cain, San Francisco’s Game 7 starter, threw one of those gems. R.A. Dickey set a Mets record with 44 innings of pitching without allowing earned runs. Fernando Rodney, the Tampa Rays closer, set the Major League record (0.60) for the lowest ERA after at least 50 pitches.

MLB had 5,693 home runs in Y2K. Homers for this season have fallen to 4,934. This means that there are now almost 800 less homers. Sammy Sosa was the top homer in baseball in 2000 with 50. In that same season, at least 10 other players scored 40. Miguel Cabrera, MLB’s best slugger, had just 37 homeruns in 2008. Carlos Pena and Mark Teixeira tied for second place with 39. These were the lowest numbers for a homerun king in history, dating back to 1989. Also, runs are down significantly from 2000, when 24,971 runners reached home plate. Only 21,017 runs were scored this season. The decrease in offense led to a drop in pitching ERAs, which dropped from 4.77 to 4.01.

The decline of steroids isn’t the only reason for baseball’s pitching revival. This makes it more difficult for hitters to hit the ball with 90-plus mph pitches. FanGraphs calculated the average fastball velocity and ranked all pitchers who threw more than 30 innings in a given season. In just five years, the number of pitchers who have a fastball velocity above 95 has increased steadily from 11 in 2007 and 35 in 2007.

Another reason is the expanded pitching repertoire. The majority of great pitchers used only one or two pitches back in the day. Today, a pitcher can dial up four pitches at any given time.

Mixing pitches with speed keeps the best hitters on balance. Vogelsong did this flawlessly against the Cardinals during the NLCS. says Vogelsong was a 35-year old finesse pitcher. He had five pitches that were poppin’ against the Cardinals: a four-and-two-seam fastball and changeup, slider, slider, and curveball.

The “Pitcher’s Paradise”Information and mathematical formulas are the defining features of this era. They give managers, catchers and pitchers an advantage on every pitch. Jim Leyland, a Detroit manager from the old days, prefers to follow their instincts and less on dizzying numbers and sabermetrics. In the rise of the pitcher, the use of track information and the study of statistical trends have also been crucial. Joe Girardi is one of the new-age managers. He constantly searches his notes to find a strategic advantage.

The future of baseball will be a vibrant mix of pitchers and hitters who play a high-stakes game at 60 feet 6 inches. A hitter can hit his best when he is at his peak, but the pitcher will still be the most important position in a baseball game. If you are passionate about the science of pitching or softball scores that don’t seem right, turn on the TV tonight. Baseball’s “Pitcher’s Paradise”The era will be fully displayed.

This story is courtesy of “The Shadow League.”You can find more stories about sports at www.