Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Having trouble with getting runs early

I have been noticing an increasingly bad trend regarding our beloved Nats inability to score. As DM said, it is encouraging to see them in every game. On the other hand, it would be nice if they actually broke some doors open early in some games. Now part of that is due to the fact that the bottom third of our order are usually somewhat easy outs (and add in the fact that Church bats earlier and is hitting .208), so it's hard to get big innings, but somehow we need to find a way. I ran the numbers on the Nats runs per inning and here is what I found. Remember, on average we should be expected to get a little over half a run per inning (.53).
Stats are for all 27 games; we batted in the 8th inning in 26 games and 9th inning in 20 games. I didn't bother with the 2 runs we have scored in extra innings:

First inning: 9 runs (scored in 5 games overall), .33 Runs/Game, scored in 19% of games
Second inning: 3(!) runs (3 games), .11 R/G, 11% of games
Third inning: 9 runs (5), .33 R/G, 19% of games
Fourth inning: 12 runs (8), .44 R/G, 30% of games
Fifth inning: 11 runs (6), .41 R/G, 22% of games
Sixth inning: 14 runs (9), .52 R/G, 33% of games
Seventh inning: 24 runs (8), .89 R/G, 30 % of games
Eighth inning: 12 runs (6), .46 R/G, 23% of games
Ninth inning: 16 runs (8), .80 R/G, 40% of games

This tells me a couple of things. The good news is that we never give up and we never really let up in the later innings. 47% of our runs come in the last three innings (really over 50% when you consider that we didn't bat in the ninth in 7 games and in the 8th in one). 34% come in the middle three innings, and only 19% in the first three innings. The conversely bad news is that we are anemic at the beginning of games, averaging less than a run for the first three innings. We are only above ERV average in the 7th and 9th innings, and if your pitcher isn't doing well, you are already going to be out of the game by then. In fact, the quick and dirty numbers suggest that if a team just scores the .53 ERV average against us in the first 6 innings, they will be up on us 3.18 to 2.14 going into the 7th inning. So, one could say it is like we are giving up a run going into the late stages of the game each night. Not really offering a solution here since we are both injured and not deep as a team, but we really need to start scoring more early.


At 1:15 PM, Anonymous John said...

So here's a hypothesis on that: we do better later because we're facing reliever pitchers, who on average are pretty mediocre.

If the Nats had more plate discpline (and they're getting better, as are those stats I suspect), we'd force more throws, and get to see those juicy pitchers sooner. Considering the correlation between OB% and runs, we'd probably also get more runs in general.

It's just a hypothesis. Also, do you know how those stats compare to the average? i.e. Do we usually see an even distribution of runs scored across the innings?


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