Monday, May 09, 2005

Interesting article

Actually states the position that as opposed to being lucky to be 17-14, the Nationals are actually substantially outperforming their record/runs scored and allowed... meaning that if the Nats keep up this level of OBP/SLG etc. for and against, their record should improve even more (or meaning that they could drop off in offense and pitching a bit and still maintain this pace). 31 games (30 for this article) is a small sample size, but it's encouraging.


At 12:09 PM, Blogger Chris Needham said...

Interesting post.

That's something I blogged about last night, but I didn't draw it to its natural conclusion: more wins.

The team's offense has just been horribly inefficient. We're scoring runs in bunches, which is fine sometimes (think saturday's game), but that means that we're also going long stretches without scoring (think yesterday).

Regardless, the team's offense is doing much better than I'd have imagined, without a true slugger in the lineup. It's a good collection of above-average hitters, for the most part!

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Basil said...

Maybe need more productive outs? ;-)


At 1:49 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Gammons productive outs missive yesterday ...

Failing to deliver in the clutch
This is a rant about selfishness and a lack of concentration and a preference for arbitration over winning. It's about not scoring runners from third base with less than two outs.

"You've got agents whispering in players' ears about numbers," says Rangers manager Buck Showalter. "If a player comes up with a runner on third and one out and the infield's back, if he gives himself up and rolls a ground ball to second base, that's a negative at the arbitration table."

"Strikeouts have come to be the norm, an accepted norm," says Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "Guys too often want to hit the home run and forget that that run can win a game."

"I wish every player would study tapes of David Eckstein in that situation," says A's GM Billy Beane. "He will foul off a dozen pitches until he finally gets something he can get to the outfield to get the run home. It drives me crazy. Our players have heard me on this subject."

Why? Because when the A's left for their six-game swing through New York and Boston, they had come up with 42 runners on third base with fewer than two outs ... and 12 had scored. Pathetic. Eight teams had scored less than half of runners in that position.

"Too many hitters have no idea about a two-strike approach," says Showalter. "But we don't emphasize enough that every run is important. If you do, when you get to those September and October games, you don't squander opportunities in close, well-pitched games."

Red Sox officials still remember Mike Mussina coming into Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS and getting out of a none-out jam with runners on first and third in the fourth inning, turning the game (which the Red Sox led 4-0 at the time) and the playoffs around. "That was a pivotal moment," says Boston assistant GM Josh Byrnes. "Stopping a club in a situation like that can have the effect of a goal line stand."

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Then the following table ...
Through May 4, these were the team percentages of driving in a runner from third base with less than two out:

Team Percentage
N.Y. (AL) 0.686
S.F. 0.661
Chi. (AL) 0.64
Fla. 0.638
Det. 0.603
L.A. (AL) 0.600
Wash. 0.600
Sea. 0.591
Tor. 0.588
Bal. 0.582
T.B. 0.58
N.Y. (NL) 0.577
Tex. 0.571
K.C. 0.567
Minn. 0.561
Ari. 0.56
Phi. 0.553
S.D. 0.553
L.A. (NL) 0.529
Pitt. 0.513
Hou. 0.489
Chi. (NL) 0.473
Cle. 0.457
Cin. 0.448
St.L. 0.432
Mil. 0.418
Atl. 0.386
Oak. 0.286

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Basil said...

Man, the rest of my post, well, didn't post. Suffice it to say that Brian covered what I intended to cover. Thanks!


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