View Full Version : Home Runs Are Rally Killers?

He got it!
06-08-2007, 03:48 PM
I have heard on this site (I think originally qouting Jerry Narron) people refering to home runs as "rally killers." I have always thought this statement to be ludacris, (and still do) but I decided to do a little research regarding the home run and how it relates to wins and losses. I just refused to believe that teams that hit a lot of home runs could consistantly lose ball games. I just figured the Reds were an exception to the rule. I was surprised by the stats I found and how many bad teams are near or at the top of the team home run leader board. Here is what I found....

Team Home Runs Record
1.Cincinnati Reds 79 23-38
2.Milwaukee Brewers 78 33-27
3.Texas Rangers 75 21-39
4.Cleveland Indians 74 36-22
5.Detroit Tigers 74 34-25
6.Toronto Blue Jays 70 28-31
7.Tampa Bay Devil Rays 68 26-32
8.Florida Marlins 67 30-31
9.Atlanta Braves 65 33-28
10.Philadelphia Phillies 63 31-29

These teams have a combined record of 295- 302, a winning percentage of
.494. As you can see not only do a lot of home runs not relate to a good win lose record, it is almost a formula for losing baseball (all be it slightly under .500) Intersting to note that the top 3 teams - Reds, Brewers, and Rangers have a combined record of 77- 104, a winning percentage of .425. 5 of the 10 teams have a losing record.

Naturally this lead me to look up team ERA and see if pitching does indeed have a much more drastic effect than homers as far as a good win lose record goes. The numbers speak for themselves.

Team ERA Record
1.San Diego Padres 2.91 36-23
2.Oakland Athletics 3.22 31-28
3.New York Mets 3.40 35-23
4.Arizona Diamondbacks 3.58 36-25
5.Los Angelos Dodgers 3.66 34-26
6.San Francisco Giants 3.71 28-31
7.LA Angels of Anaheim 3.74 38-23
8.Boston Red Sox 3.78 38-21
9.Chicago Cubs 3.99 26-32
10.Milwaukee Brewers 4.02 33-27

The top 10 teams in team ERA have a combined record of 335- 259, a winning percentage of .563. A low team ERA almost guarantees you a shot at winning your division while a lot of team home runs doesn't even gaurantee you a shot at a winning record. In addition to the large win totals only 2 of the teams on this list have a losing record.

I know this is probably no front page news but just kind of reitarates the importance of pitching and the unimportance of home runs. I still however, refuse to refer to home runs as...."rally killers."

06-08-2007, 04:10 PM
I think most of the time you hear this it's tounge in cheek... I believe the phrase comes from Chris Welsh, but a more regular member can possibly verify this.

06-08-2007, 04:22 PM
Yeah, thats definitely a Chris Welsh thing. I think the more likely reason that it seems to Chris that they are rally killers is the Reds rarely have scored for the past few years without the aid of a home run. Yeah, they often don't score after Adam Dunn or KGJ hit a home run, but that's because of two reasons IMO...

1)After a Griffey or Dunn hit a homer, there are 8 other batters that make an out after them.

2)We simply can't play small ball. Sure, Hopper and Freel are capable of getting on base some, although Freel has been irratic at it. Yes, Hamilton or Hatteburg are capable of making productive outs after they get on. But it is all for nothing when Dunn and Griffey either smash one over the wall, strike out, or walk.

This team isn't built for small ball, end of story. That is why we are at the top of the league in home runs, but at the bottom as far as our record is concerned.

06-08-2007, 05:14 PM
I don't think it is hitting homers that are rally killers but trying to hit homers probably is.

One statistical oddity of the Reds that I think I mentioned in the thread re: Pathetic RISP hitting is that while the Reds are leading the league in HR's or were that day that they in comparison do not hit nearly as many other extra base hits as some of the other teams high on the list.

Ludwig Reds Fan
06-08-2007, 06:35 PM
Home Runs aren't enough. You need guys on base too. Obviously.

With that in mind, if I didnt know, I would guess that the leaders in HRs who have losing records, probably have terrible pitching, defense, clutch hitting, etc.

As to the 2nd part of your post, I would not disagree that low ERA has a more positive correlation to W/L than HRs do, in this day and age of high scoring ball games.

As to what this all has to do with the Reds...it only describes one of their problems and I don't think there is a correlation between the Reds high number of HRs and their poor W/L record.
The Reds lose because they leave too many people on base, have abysmal middle relief, spotty-at-best defense, and they have no sign of true positive leadership of any kind anywhere in the ranks of the organization.

Which is not to say they are bad people, or even bad baseball people. I just think the above 4 things would sink any ball club, no matter how many HRs they hit.