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kaldaniels
05-13-2009, 05:33 PM
Today listening to the Mets-Braves on the radio, the announcers were going on about how hittting a groundball to the right side of the infield with no outs and a runner on 2nd was "how you play winning baseball".

Two thoughts came to mind.

1) Were the announcers just dead wrong or is there something to what they are saying.

2) If there is something to it, isn't this a case of a player contributing to the offense, yet there is no statisical way to show this. And if so, are there any other examples of ways players help out the ballclub which in no way contributes to their "Saber-worthiness".

thatcoolguy_22
05-13-2009, 05:46 PM
I can't find the chart but someone one here will probably be able to help.

Some time over the last year there was a chart floating around that showed the percentages of a team scoring in different situations. Runner on 1st with no outs, 1 out, 2 outs etc, etc.


If someone would be so kind to repost it is very helpful in trying to determine whether a sacrifice in a situation is worthwhile. If I remember correctly the basic rule is sacrifices are garbage on the macro but ok in micro late game situations.

Could someone post the chart if they still have it please.

thanks

medford
05-13-2009, 05:49 PM
while I don't know if it fits in completly w/ the sabermetric approach, I think there's definently something to it. There are many more ways to score from 3rd than there is from 2nd. Of course, hitting a ball to the right side doesn't mean you have to necessarily give your self up, you can hit it to the right side for a hit, or bunt for a hit, while still moving the runner over. I think some of it also depends on what spot you are in the lineup. An 8th hole hitter in the 3rd inning would probably be looking more to get a hit any way possible w/ a man on 1st and the pitcher behind him. If he sacrafices him to 2nd, the pitcher is likely going to record an out anyways leaving 2 out and a man on 2nd for the leadoff hitter.

2) I don't think there is, but I think there should be for moving a runner over, or hitting a ball to deep right field and allowing the runner to tag up from 2nd going to 3rd w/ no outs, etc...

Ltlabner
05-13-2009, 05:51 PM
It's so broad of a statement that it becomes meaningless.

But in very broad and general terms, acquiring bases and avoiding outs is what leads to winning baseball. If that includes hitting a ball to the right side with a runner on 2nd and no outs in a specific game, so be it.

Chip R
05-13-2009, 05:54 PM
Hey, if there's a runner on 2nd with less than 2 outs, a ground ball to the right side is much better than one to the left side. But you know what's even better? A base hit.

15fan
05-13-2009, 06:19 PM
Hey, if there's a runner on 2nd with less than 2 outs, a ground ball to the right side is much better than one to the left side. But you know what's even better? A base hit.

Thank you, Tim McCarver. ;)

IslandRed
05-13-2009, 06:32 PM
It kind of depends on who's doing it, too.

While I would rather have a productive out than a non-productive one, the productive out thing as a measurement of useful skill has been debunked. Besides, let's be honest... If the hitter goes up there with the primary objective of "hit the ball to the right side" instead of "don't make an out," it makes it more likely he'll make an out. Over the long run, that's going to hurt the ballclub. In certain specific late-game situations where the runner on base is the ballgame, it can be justified (or is at least neutral) by the numbers.

paintmered
05-13-2009, 06:48 PM
Nobody ever made it to the big leagues because he could ground out to second.

Ltlabner
05-13-2009, 06:59 PM
Nobody ever made it to the big leagues because he could ground out to second.

Dang...that sounds familiar.

paintmered
05-13-2009, 07:33 PM
Dang...that sounds familiar.

Yeah, it was one of the only profound things I've ever written on this board. :lol:

TheNext44
05-13-2009, 07:41 PM
I can't find the chart but someone one here will probably be able to help.

Some time over the last year there was a chart floating around that showed the percentages of a team scoring in different situations. Runner on 1st with no outs, 1 out, 2 outs etc, etc.


If someone would be so kind to repost it is very helpful in trying to determine whether a sacrifice in a situation is worthwhile. If I remember correctly the basic rule is sacrifices are garbage on the macro but ok in micro late game situations.

Could someone post the chart if they still have it please.

thanks

This is the one that I use.

http://www.tangotiger.net/RE9902score.html


Base Outs Runs
0 1 2 3 4 5+
Empty 0 0.707 0.154 0.074 0.035 0.016 0.013
Empty 1 0.827 0.101 0.042 0.017 0.007 0.005
Empty 2 0.923 0.051 0.017 0.005 0.002 0.001

1st 0 0.563 0.176 0.132 0.067 0.034 0.028
1st 1 0.717 0.123 0.091 0.04 0.017 0.013
1st 2 0.864 0.062 0.049 0.016 0.006 0.003

2nd 0 0.368 0.348 0.142 0.076 0.035 0.03
2nd 1 0.594 0.23 0.098 0.045 0.018 0.014
2nd 2 0.777 0.147 0.049 0.017 0.006 0.003

3rd 0 0.136 0.542 0.164 0.09 0.035 0.033
3rd 1 0.338 0.478 0.106 0.045 0.018 0.014
3rd 2 0.737 0.187 0.05 0.017 0.006 0.004

1st_2nd 0 0.359 0.219 0.165 0.127 0.07 0.059
1st_2nd 1 0.574 0.161 0.11 0.088 0.038 0.028
1st_2nd 2 0.769 0.106 0.058 0.044 0.015 0.008

1st_3rd 0 0.124 0.417 0.174 0.142 0.076 0.067
1st_3rd 1 0.345 0.37 0.119 0.092 0.042 0.031
1st_3rd 2 0.715 0.151 0.061 0.049 0.016 0.008

2nd_3rd 0 0.144 0.249 0.307 0.147 0.079 0.074
2nd_3rd 1 0.305 0.285 0.218 0.101 0.053 0.038
2nd_3rd 2 0.724 0.054 0.141 0.049 0.021 0.011

Loaded 0 0.128 0.255 0.211 0.143 0.134 0.13
Loaded 1 0.33 0.252 0.151 0.106 0.093 0.068
Loaded 2 0.675 0.092 0.105 0.055 0.048 0.025




Sorry, not good at coding. If someone can post a cleaner version, please do.

TheNext44
05-13-2009, 07:49 PM
Basically what the chart shows is that by using an out to get the runner from 2nd to 3rd, with less than two outs, you increase you chances of getting one run, but decrease the chances of scoring more than one run and over the course of the season you will score less runs overall.

Just as cool_guy said, that means you should only do it very specific situations when you need just one run. The odds are so close, that who is at bat matters as well. If it is Janish, then yes, using the out was smart. if it is Votto, no, it was not smart.

thatcoolguy_22
05-13-2009, 07:58 PM
Basically what the chart shows is that by using an out to get the runner from 2nd to 3rd, with less than two outs, you increase you chances of getting one run, but decrease the chances of scoring more than one run and over the course of the season you will score less runs overall.

Just as cool_guy said, that means you should only do it very specific situations when you need just one run. The odds are so close, that who is at bat matters as well. If it is Janish, then yes, using the out was smart. if it is Votto, no, it was not smart.

Thanks! That is the exact chart I was looking for. I need to save that link. You would be surprised how often it comes up in daily baseball conversation with friends/coworkers :)

thatcoolguy_22
05-13-2009, 08:02 PM
Base Outs Runs
0 1 2 3 4 5+
Empty 0 0.707 0.154 0.074 0.035 0.016 0.013
Empty 1 0.827 0.101 0.042 0.017 0.007 0.005
Empty 2 0.923 0.051 0.017 0.005 0.002 0.001

1st 0 0.563 0.176 0.132 0.067 0.034 0.028
1st 1 0.717 0.123 0.091 0.04 0.017 0.013
1st 2 0.864 0.062 0.049 0.016 0.006 0.003

2nd 0 0.368 0.348 0.142 0.076 0.035 0.03
2nd 1 0.594 0.23 0.098 0.045 0.018 0.014
2nd 2 0.777 0.147 0.049 0.017 0.006 0.003

3rd 0 0.136 0.542 0.164 0.09 0.035 0.033
3rd 1 0.338 0.478 0.106 0.045 0.018 0.014
3rd 2 0.737 0.187 0.05 0.017 0.006 0.004

1/2 0 0.359 0.219 0.165 0.127 0.07 0.059
1/2 1 0.574 0.161 0.11 0.088 0.038 0.028
1/2 2 0.769 0.106 0.058 0.044 0.015 0.008

1/3 0 0.124 0.417 0.174 0.142 0.076 0.067
1/3 1 0.345 0.37 0.119 0.092 0.042 0.031
1/3 2 0.715 0.151 0.061 0.049 0.016 0.008

2/3 0 0.144 0.249 0.307 0.147 0.079 0.074
2/3 1 0.305 0.285 0.218 0.101 0.053 0.038
2/3 2 0.724 0.054 0.141 0.049 0.021 0.011

FLL 0 0.128 0.255 0.211 0.143 0.134 0.13
FLL 1 0.33 0.252 0.151 0.106 0.093 0.068
FLL 2 0.675 0.092 0.105 0.055 0.048 0.025


A little cleaner for you :)

15fan
05-13-2009, 09:17 PM
Nobody ever made it to the big leagues because he could ground out to second.

Sean Casey? ;)

TheNext44
05-13-2009, 09:28 PM
Base Outs Runs
0 1 2 3 4 5+
Empty 0 0.707 0.154 0.074 0.035 0.016 0.013
Empty 1 0.827 0.101 0.042 0.017 0.007 0.005
Empty 2 0.923 0.051 0.017 0.005 0.002 0.001

1st 0 0.563 0.176 0.132 0.067 0.034 0.028
1st 1 0.717 0.123 0.091 0.04 0.017 0.013
1st 2 0.864 0.062 0.049 0.016 0.006 0.003

2nd 0 0.368 0.348 0.142 0.076 0.035 0.03
2nd 1 0.594 0.23 0.098 0.045 0.018 0.014
2nd 2 0.777 0.147 0.049 0.017 0.006 0.003

3rd 0 0.136 0.542 0.164 0.09 0.035 0.033
3rd 1 0.338 0.478 0.106 0.045 0.018 0.014
3rd 2 0.737 0.187 0.05 0.017 0.006 0.004

1/2 0 0.359 0.219 0.165 0.127 0.07 0.059
1/2 1 0.574 0.161 0.11 0.088 0.038 0.028
1/2 2 0.769 0.106 0.058 0.044 0.015 0.008

1/3 0 0.124 0.417 0.174 0.142 0.076 0.067
1/3 1 0.345 0.37 0.119 0.092 0.042 0.031
1/3 2 0.715 0.151 0.061 0.049 0.016 0.008

2/3 0 0.144 0.249 0.307 0.147 0.079 0.074
2/3 1 0.305 0.285 0.218 0.101 0.053 0.038
2/3 2 0.724 0.054 0.141 0.049 0.021 0.011

FLL 0 0.128 0.255 0.211 0.143 0.134 0.13
FLL 1 0.33 0.252 0.151 0.106 0.093 0.068
FLL 2 0.675 0.092 0.105 0.055 0.048 0.025


A little cleaner for you :)

thanks! :thumbup:

thatcoolguy_22
05-13-2009, 09:39 PM
Sean Casey? ;)

but he could single off the wall in right with regularity.

TheNext44
05-13-2009, 09:49 PM
Today listening to the Mets-Braves on the radio, the announcers were going on about how hittting a groundball to the right side of the infield with no outs and a runner on 2nd was "how you play winning baseball".

Two thoughts came to mind.

1) Were the announcers just dead wrong or is there something to what they are saying.

2) If there is something to it, isn't this a case of a player contributing to the offense, yet there is no statisical way to show this. And if so, are there any other examples of ways players help out the ballclub which in no way contributes to their "Saber-worthiness".


These are great questions, and there is no absolute right answer, but a lot to debate.

First, as to the bold part, there is a statistical way of showing everything and anything, it is just that there is no widely used or accepted stat for this particular action. It would be very easy to create this stat and give it a very Saber sounding name, like BAPO (base advancement per out). Someone just needs to do the work.

As to "Saber-Worthiness", there really is no such thing to a true Saber fan. All stats and all events have some value or worthiness, it just is that some have more than others. Everything that a player does on the field during the game when the ball is in play, and even somethings when it is not, is of some value. the key is finding out which ones have the most value to the team winning, and focus on those.

I think advancing runners with an out definitely has value, and probably someday there will be a stat for it. My view is that no one should try to make an out to advance the runners, but if they do, they should be commended for at least doing something good with the out that they made.

My main problem with it is that you need to make two "productive" outs in a row to score a run, and then you only score one run. That is easier said than done, and if you have good hitters up, you probably have a better chance to get one hit from the next two hitters as you do getting two productive outs.

I like Joe Morgan's view as well. Even though he is no fan of the Saber world, he agrees with them on this. He thinks a hitter should not change his approach in this situation and not try to hit to one field nor try to get a flyball. Instead a hitter should do what he always try to do. Hit he ball squarely, and hard. He said that if you do that every time, over the course of the season, you will the best results in that situation.

Ltlabner
05-13-2009, 10:08 PM
I like Joe Morgan's view as well. Even though he is no fan of the Saber world, he agrees with them on this. He thinks a hitter should not change his approach in this situation and not try to hit to one field nor try to get a flyball. Instead a hitter should do what he always try to do. Hit he ball squarely, and hard. He said that if you do that every time, over the course of the season, you will the best results in that situation.

So called "productive outs" have been hashed to death.

But I'll chime in here to say it's downright ignorant for a batter, especially one who's able to hold his own at home plate, to materially alter his swing so as to purposely generate an out in the name of being "productive".

If you just so happen to ground out, but advance the runner, that's one thing. But to do it on purpose? Unless it's a tie game, in extra innings, you are the home team, there are no outs and you have two solid batters coming up it's the strategy of losers.

If you are such a talented batsman that you can purposely hit it to 2B at such a rate as to give the runner time to advance, and at such a location that the fielder can't zip it to 3B, wouldn't it be a more productive approach to hit the ball about 8' higher in the air, get the single and accomplish the same thing? With a speedy runner he may make it home and at the very least you avoid giving away the out.

It's just like sacrifice flys. If you get your pitch and it just so happens to result in a sac fly so be it. But if you have such super-hero bat control so as to hit the ball to a predetermined spot somewhere in the outfield, on command, why not just hit the ball about 20' further and get the home run?

Point is, don't change your approach. Don't give up the out. Unless it's a very specific set of circumstances, just get a solid pitch to drive and hit it hard. Over the course of an entire season, it will pay off.

bucksfan2
05-13-2009, 10:34 PM
So called "productive outs" have been hashed to death.

But I'll chime in here to say it's downright ignorant for a batter, especially one who's able to hold his own at home plate, to materially alter his swing so as to purposely generate an out in the name of being "productive".

If you just so happen to ground out, but advance the runner, that's one thing. But to do it on purpose? Unless it's a tie game, in extra innings, you are the home team, there are no outs and you have two solid batters coming up it's the strategy of losers.

If you are such a talented batsman that you can purposely hit it to 2B at such a rate as to give the runner time to advance, and at such a location that the fielder can't zip it to 3B, wouldn't it be a more productive approach to hit the ball about 8' higher in the air, get the single and accomplish the same thing? With a speedy runner he may make it home and at the very least you avoid giving away the out.

It's just like sacrifice flys. If you get your pitch and it just so happens to result in a sac fly so be it. But if you have such super-hero bat control so as to hit the ball to a predetermined spot somewhere in the outfield, on command, why not just hit the ball about 20' further and get the home run?

Point is, don't change your approach. Don't give up the out. Unless it's a very specific set of circumstances, just get a solid pitch to drive and hit it hard. Over the course of an entire season, it will pay off.

Absolutly, completly disagree with you on this. As a matter of a fact I remember hearing Barry Larkin talk about his change in approach during different counts and different situations when he came to bat. IMO it speaks to the disconnect between "avioding outs" and actually playing the game.

If a batter hits the ball to the right side of the field with a runner on second base he isn't sacrificing his atbat to move the runner along. He is putting the ball in play, once he does that anything can happen. If a runner is on second base, a heady ball player wants to at worse to advance that runner to third. They look for pitches to drive and if they don't get one, they do their best to make sure that runner is on third base.

Point is, the best batters change their approach from pitch to pitch. What a batter does on a 3-1 pitch is different than their approach they have on a 1-2 count. You don't always get a pitch to drive, especially in a pitchers count.

Ltlabner
05-13-2009, 10:53 PM
Absolutly, completly disagree with you on this.

There's a world of difference between protecting the plate/shrinking your strike zone and purposely trying to hit the ball to the right side, on the ground, to advance the runner (which was the scenario being discussed in the thread).

The idea being floated by these TV announcers is that "winning teams" routinely and purposefully ground-out to 2B to advance the runner as some sort of formula for long term winning. That's poppycock.

Would you agree that in other than very specific cases more runs trumps less runs?

Would you also agree that other than very specific cases less outs is better than more outs?

Lastly, would you agree that if you have a batter that has such excellent bat control/contact rates that he can hit the ball, on the ground to the second baseman at will, that it would be a better approach to hit the ball over the second baseman's head?

Unless you disagree with all of these statements, I'd say avoiding the out while advancing the runner is the more productive approach.


...it speaks to the disconnect between "avioding outs" and actually playing the game.

Avoiding outs (along with acquiring bases) is playing the game.

bucksfan2
05-13-2009, 11:15 PM
There's a world of difference between protecting the plate/shrinking your strike zone and purposely trying to hit the ball to the right side, on the ground, to advance the runner (which was the scenario being discussed in the thread).

The idea being floated by these TV announcers is that "winning teams" routinely and purposefully ground-out to 2B to advance the runner as some sort of formula for long term winning. That's poppycock.

Would you agree that in other than very specific cases more runs trumps less runs?

Would you also agree that other than very specific cases less outs is better than more outs?

Lastly, would you agree that if you have a batter that has such excellent bat control/contact rates that he can hit the ball, on the ground to the second baseman at will, that it would be a better approach to hit the ball over the second baseman's head?

Unless you disagree with all of these statements, I'd say avoiding the out while advancing the runner is the more productive approach.

The situational aspect of the game becomes paramount in these situations. A hitter isn't alone trying to accomplish his goals. There is a pitcher as well as 8 fielders trying to prevent the batter from accomplishing his goals. In the runner on second scenerio a HR would be the best outcome, followed by triple, double, single, walk, non out occurance, then an out moving the runner along. However you must take the situation into consideration. If a batter hits a boarderline 3-1 pitch to the 2b that is likely a waste of a swing. If a batter grounds a boarderline 1-2 pitche to the 2b advancing the runner that isn't that bad of an outcome.

The problem is that even the best hitters fail at an alarming rate. So in the situation that a runner is on second, espeically with 0 outs, the hitter is thinking I want to get this runner in, but at least I want to make sure he is standing on 3rd when my at bat is up. Its a team sport and even though you may not drive in the run, if the batter behind you does then the run counts the same.




Avoiding outs (along with acquiring bases) is playing the game.

I have never heard a player say that when he is up a the plate his goal is to "avoid an out". To my knowledge it is just not how they think. Try and tell a saber guy that and you will begin to run in circles. It is why I say there is a disconnect between the actual players and fans. I enjoy listening to good hitters talk about their plate approach and it gives me insite about what they are attempting to do when during their at bats. I have no problem with the "avoiding outs" mantra I just don't think it is all that feasable when put into practice.

Ltlabner
05-13-2009, 11:33 PM
So in the situation that a runner is on second, espeically with 0 outs, the hitter is thinking I want to get this runner in, but at least I want to make sure he is standing on 3rd when my at bat is up.

Yep. Get a pitch to drive, drive it, and move on. Somehow I just don't think Ted Williams or Ty Cobb thought to themselves, "I'll just ground this one out to second so at least the guy is on third".

Listen, if the end result of an AB is a weak ground-out to 2B, and the runner trots over to 3rd I have no issues. If the pitcher is throwing borderline junk and you feel the need to at least put the ball in play, so be it. But the topic at hand is purposely striding to the plate and aiming to hit a grounder to second. That's giving up an out and doesn't make a lick of sense.


I have never heard a player say that when he is up a the plate his goal is to "avoid an out". To my knowledge it is just not how they think.

Ah...the good old "you saber guys should get out from behind the computer and play the game" argument. Good stuff.

Players say their goal is to "avoid an out" all day every day. They might not use those exact words, but that is the end result of their thinking. It's "see the ball, hit the ball". It's SteelSD's quote from Ted Williams about trying hit a ball he couldn't do anything with. It's "hit'em where they ain't". It's Barry Bonds having a bizzaro good understanding of the strike-zone. It's Dave Windfield talking about hitting strikes. It's Yogi Berra talking about how it's the bats fault if he isn't hitting.

Ultimately these guys are talking about avoiding outs by either hitting a pitch they can actually do something with, or avoiding an out via K's. They might not think in the specific terms of [insert robot voice] "avoid outs, acquire bases" but that's the end result of the guys who do it well.

RedsManRick
05-14-2009, 12:20 AM
I find two things often lost in the discussion about making productive outs on purpose:

1) It's quite possible to make a productive out when you're trying to get a hit, but fail to get the hit.
2) It's quite possible to fail to make out you purposefully make, a productive one.

Put another way, if you try to make an out, the best thing that can happen is that the out you make will be a productive one. If you try to get a hit, you still have a decent chance of making a productive out, as well as having a decent chance of not making an out at all and either driving in the run yourself or creating an even better opportunity for the guy behind you.

The only circumstance in which it makes sense to increase your chances of scoring 1 run at the cost of your chances of scoring 2 or more is when that 1 run is very likely to be the difference between winning and losing.

RFS62
05-14-2009, 12:32 AM
Nobody is ever trying to hit a ball on the ground to the second baseman in those situations. They're trying to put the ball in play to the RIGHT SIDE. It may go through, it may not. If it doesn't, he's out and the runner advances.

And as earlier stated, Barry Larkin was masterful at this SKILL. It's not luck. It's a technique taught up and down all levels of pro ball.

You may disagree with the philosophy, or it's advantages or disadvantages as a tactical move, but make no mistake. It's coached, it's expected by most major league managers, and it's intentional.

kaldaniels
05-14-2009, 12:32 AM
As the starter of the thread, I'll clarify...no one (announcers) ever commended the player for being out...they praised him for hitting it to the right side/advancing the runner. Try not to illustrate your reasoning by assuming the batter is trying to get out. If that was the desired result just drop a sac bunt down and call it a day. The skill being praised IMO is being able to hit to the right side. (And my point was, it is a skill that goes unnoticed in the stat line if the batter is thrown out at first).

medford
05-14-2009, 12:54 AM
I think the end moral to this "debate" is that if you have a runner on 2nd w/ no outs, have a smart at bat. Many times the pitchers is trying to get you to roll one over to SS/3b or hit a weak pop out in these situation, so don't swing at a ball you can't do anything with unless you have to (ie have 2 strikes and its going to be another one) If you can punch one to the right side, take it and move on. If you can square up and drive it hard somewhere, all the better.

Stolen from Lance McAllister's blog, by way of Mark Wagner: (http://1530homer.com/pages/lancesBlog.html)

Stat of the day
From Mark Wagner
Entering play tonight :
Reds have gone 1st to 3rd on a single 25 times this season, 2nd most in MLB (most in NL, Toronto has 27).
Last season the Reds went first to third on a single only 64 times all season, 27th in MLB, 14th in NL.
(They are on pace to go first to third 119 times this season)

I thought it kind of belonged here, or in the complaint thread that mentioned how this team wasn't really playing "small" ball like ownership intended. This stat would say that they very much are as the ability to move from 1st to 3rd rather than station to station would be one plus to "small ball" that a power laden, slow lineup couldn't do. Of course best to do both like the Red Sox have mastered the last several years, but I digress...

I know its not about moving the runner over from 2nd, but its another aspect somewhat correlated to that notion that would fall into the small ball catagory

mth123
05-14-2009, 06:09 AM
Nobody is ever trying to hit a ball on the ground to the second baseman in those situations. They're trying to put the ball in play to the RIGHT SIDE. It may go through, it may not. If it doesn't, he's out and the runner advances.

And as earlier stated, Barry Larkin was masterful at this SKILL. It's not luck. It's a technique taught up and down all levels of pro ball.

You may disagree with the philosophy, or it's advantages or disadvantages as a tactical move, but make no mistake. It's coached, it's expected by most major league managers, and it's intentional.


Absolutely correct.

Ltlabner
05-14-2009, 07:54 AM
As the starter of the thread, I'll clarify...no one (announcers) ever commended the player for being out...they praised him for hitting it to the right side/advancing the runner. Try not to illustrate your reasoning by assuming the batter is trying to get out. If that was the desired result just drop a sac bunt down and call it a day. The skill being praised IMO is being able to hit to the right side. (And my point was, it is a skill that goes unnoticed in the stat line if the batter is thrown out at first).

That's a different story all together. Your op referenced hitting a grounder to the right side and that' how winning teams got the job done.

If we're changing the topic from hitting a grounder to 2B to advance the runner to generally hitting the ball to the right side of the field to avoid a dribbler to short-stop or some other result that doesn't advance the runner, I'm in total agreement. If you don't get the pitch to drive, sometimes you gotta work with what you have and it's better to ultimately advance the runner if you have no other options.

But I took your OP to mean that the batter was grounding out to 2B on purpose to advance the runner which is no different (as you pointed out) as dropping the sac bunt. It makes no sense to me to make the blanket statement of "that's how you play winning baseball" when, in fact, you are reducing your chances of winning (other than in specific scenarios).

RANDY IN INDY
05-14-2009, 10:58 AM
That's a different story all together. Your op referenced hitting a grounder to the right side and that' how winning teams got the job done.

If we're changing the topic from hitting a grounder to 2B to advance the runner to generally hitting the ball to the right side of the field to avoid a dribbler to short-stop or some other result that doesn't advance the runner, I'm in total agreement. If you don't get the pitch to drive, sometimes you gotta work with what you have and it's better to ultimately advance the runner if you have no other options.

But I took your OP to mean that the batter was grounding out to 2B on purpose to advance the runner which is no different (as you pointed out) as dropping the sac bunt. It makes no sense to me to make the blanket statement of "that's how you play winning baseball" when, in fact, you are reducing your chances of winning (other than in specific scenarios).

To imply that anyone is trying to groundout to the second baseman is preposterous. Nobody is trying to do that. See RFS62's post. That is the difference between understanding the game, and simply creating argument for the sake of making baseball more difficult than it already is. Have you ever watched a big league player take batting practice? Do you think they are just looking for a pitch to drive the whole time? Do you think the guy throwing bp has a brain and is helping them work on situational hitting? Watch what they do with the ball as the bp progresses and as they take their turns. Sometimes I wonder.....sheesh.

Ltlabner
05-14-2009, 11:13 AM
Have you ever watched a big league player take batting practice? Sometimes I wonder.....sheesh.

Have you ever read the original post and comprehended it?

The op specifically referenced purposly hitting a grounder to the right side to advance the runner and thats how winning teams get the job done. The comment was silly.

Once the thead starter changed the perameters of the conversation to generally hitting to the right side to advance runners I admended my comments.

westofyou
05-14-2009, 11:15 AM
To imply that anyone is trying to groundout to the second baseman is preposterous. Nobody is trying to do that. See RFS62's post. That is the difference between understanding the game, and simply creating argument for the sake of making baseball more difficult than it already is. Have you ever watched a big league player take batting practice? Do you think they are just looking for a pitch to drive the whole time? Do you think the guy throwing bp has a brain and is helping them work on situational hitting? Watch what they do with the ball as the bp progresses and as they take their turns. Sometimes I wonder.....sheesh.

I always view it as the batter is up with the game situation as the master plan that drives all other plans, this situation is on a shifting matrix and with each pitch comes another variable that can adjust or change the game situations relation to the batters approach.

Perhaps early in the count the hitter doesn't worry about getting the ball to the other side, but as the count changes he might find that the pitchers staying away more to avoid his power spots or the pitcher takes control of the count and the success band gets a little thinner for the batter. That's when the batter has to leverage his current chance and try and take the ball the other way, this is something that might give him a 2 chances of success. One a hit in RF and two if that fails then he gets a baby step in his journey by moving the runner a long.

To me it's like a chess game, it's a pawn sacrifice to obtain a wider chance at success in a micro situation that might be even more defined by micros of that micro.

I see nothing wrong with a player doing it, nor an ex player pumping that part of the game up myself.

RFS62
05-14-2009, 11:34 AM
Situational awareness makes for good baseball. I'm so tired of watching players swing from the heels on every pitch. I think those days are fading fast, with the pendulum swinging back towards speed and defense. At least, I hope so. It's so much more interesting to me on so many levels.

As Randy said, watching batting practice is such a treat. I always try to get there when the gates open and watch as much of it as I can when I go to a game. You can see what they're working on. And much more specialized work goes on in the cages behind the stands.

Larkin is the perfect example of the enlightened hitter who understands bat control and how to alter his stroke for different circumstances. So many times here I hear such concepts laughed at, as if it wasn't possible. I can assure you that it is.

Situational hitting practice during spring training is a time honored tradition (another often ridiculed term, as if nothing that has been passed down can be of value). A coach will call out the situation before the pitch, and the hitter reacts to it.

It's really not that complicated, once you understand what they're trying to do.

RANDY IN INDY
05-14-2009, 11:36 AM
Have you ever read the original post and comprehended it?

The op specifically referenced purposly hitting a grounder to the right side to advance the runner and thats how winning teams get the job done. The comment was silly.

Once the thead starter changed the perameters of the conversation to generally hitting to the right side to advance runners I admended my comments.

The original post said nothing about purposefully grounding out to the second baseman. It did reference hitting the ball on the ground to the right side of the infield. As a coach, I like that approach and find nothing wrong with it. For me, if that particular idea is in the hitters mind, it usually allows him to stay on the ball longer and many times, produces a nice line drive or hard ground ball that gets through a hole on the right side or up the middle. If he hits it that way on the ground and it is caught, you advance the runner. The purpose for me, in every one of those situations, is not to make an out. Nobody wants the out. Not the manager, the third base coach, not the hitter, and obviously not the fans. If the out occurs, the chances of something else productive (advancing of the runner) happening is pretty good and much better than a groundball to the other side of the infield.

Situational baseball is a part of the game. When you execute, has a lot to do with how your team is hitting, how it is scoring runs, and the situation at hand. There is not "one way" to play every baseball game, but there are things that you can execute on a regular basis that will help your team to be successful. As RFS62 stated earlier, "You may disagree with the philosophy, or it's advantages or disadvantages as a tactical move, but make no mistake. It's coached, it's expected by most major league managers, and it's intentional."

RANDY IN INDY
05-14-2009, 11:44 AM
Situational awareness makes for good baseball. I'm so tired of watching players swing from the heels on every pitch. I think those days are fading fast, with the pendulum swinging back towards speed and defense. At least, I hope so. It's so much more interesting to me on so many levels.

As Randy said, watching batting practice is such a treat. I always try to get there when the gates open and watch as much of it as I can when I go to a game. You can see what they're working on. And much more specialized work goes on in the cages behind the stands.

Larkin is the perfect example of the enlightened hitter who understands bat control and how to alter his stroke for different circumstances. So many times here I hear such concepts laughed at, as if it wasn't possible. I can assure you that it is.

Situational hitting practice during spring training is a time honored tradition (another often ridiculed term, as if nothing that has been passed down can be of value). A coach will call out the situation before the pitch, and the hitter reacts to it.

It's really not that complicated, once you understand what they're trying to do.

We work on the same things with our 11 year old team. Hitting to the right side, up the middle, having our lefties pull a hard fastball. For anyone to say that a major league player cannot do these things, come out and watch some of these little guys. We watch them do it on a regular basis. It is amazing when you put the pressure on for kids to perform, how they can rise to the occasion. Two weeks ago, late in a game, my son was facing a tough lefthanded pitcher who was throwing in the neighborhood of 70 miles per hour. (At 50', that's pretty fast) With a runner on second and no outs, my son, a lefthanded hitter, had a couple of good cuts and eventually ended up grounding out hard to the hole at second base. Nearly a hit, but a great play by the second baseman. When he came back to the dugout, he wasn't upset, nor were his teammates. They were congratulating him for advancing the runner, who eventually scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly.

Don't anyone, suggest, that major league players cannot execute this with regularity.

jojo
05-14-2009, 12:06 PM
Run expectancy is pretty clear....it's better to have a runner on second with less outs than a runner on third with more outs. So giving up the out for the base in that situation is on average a bad strategy. Even this though gets colored by the game state (i.e. there may be times in a late and close game where playing for 1 run could be justifiable/arguable).

That said, hitting behind the runner in that situation isn't an automatic out as the contact could also result in a hit or an error. As a strategy it's a good one. Still, even it's dependent upon context. Do you really want a right-handed dead pull hitter completely adjusting his approach when it might dramatically decrease his chance for success? Also, "putting the ball in play" suggests a change in approach that is most often associated with hitting the ball in the ground. A flyball/popup reduces the chances of a hit or error.

Personally, I want my best hitters using an approach that maximizes their chance of acquiring bases on hitters counts.

A guy on second with no outs and a pitch on the outside? By all means a right handed hitter should go the opposite way if he has any ability to do so. As can be said about any strategy though, it's not a one size fits all no brainer.

RANDY IN INDY
05-14-2009, 12:14 PM
There is not "one way" to play every baseball game, but there are things that you can execute on a regular basis that will help your team to be successful.

gonelong
05-14-2009, 02:10 PM
Don't anyone, suggest, that major league players cannot execute this with regularity.

Exhibit A, Barry Larkin.

He did it with an astounding consistency.

GL

RFS62
05-14-2009, 02:21 PM
Exhibit A, Barry Larkin.

He did it with an astounding consistency.

GL


Absolutely correct. He was the poster boy for complete ballplayer.

Man, I miss watching him play.

RFS62
05-14-2009, 02:24 PM
A guy on second with no outs and a pitch on the outside? By all means a right handed hitter should go the opposite way if he has any ability to do so. As can be said about any strategy though, it's not a one size fits all no brainer.


Skilled hitters can inside-out the ball on pitches on the inner half of the plate. We see it less in the swing from the heels era we're coming out of now, but again, see Barry Larkin for your complete ballplayer example.

jojo
05-14-2009, 02:27 PM
Skilled hitters can inside-out the ball on pitches on the inner half of the plate. We see it less in the swing from the heels era we're coming out of now, but again, see Barry Larkin for your complete ballplayer example.

Barry Larkin will be a HOFer.

westofyou
05-14-2009, 02:36 PM
Barry Larkin will be a HOFer.

Is it obvious day?

jojo
05-14-2009, 02:37 PM
Is it obvious day?

Obviously.

westofyou
05-14-2009, 02:54 PM
Obviously.

One thing's for sure, Barry Larkin will get inducted with me there watching it.

RANDY IN INDY
05-14-2009, 03:28 PM
I think we might be getting back to the days when ballplayers were expected to be more complete and fundamentally sound. I surely hope so.

RFS62
05-14-2009, 03:30 PM
One thing's for sure, Barry Larkin will get inducted with me there watching it.


I'll be there too. Now that will be some party.

:beerme:

Chip R
05-14-2009, 03:31 PM
I'll be there too. Now that will be some party.

:beerme:


I'll believe that when I see it. Personally, I think you're a myth. ;)

RFS62
05-14-2009, 03:35 PM
I'll believe that when I see it. Personally, I think you're a myth. ;)

It ain't easy being me.

RANDY IN INDY
05-14-2009, 03:38 PM
RFS62 is one of those guys that show up when they say, "If you build it, they will come.........."

Ltlabner
05-14-2009, 04:05 PM
I'm so tired of watching players swing from the heels on every pitch. I think those days are fading fast, with the pendulum swinging back towards speed and defense.

I don't think "driving the ball" and swinging from your heals to the point you spin out of your shoes are synonymous. As you pointed out every player is different. Driving the ball means something different to say Willy Travars than it does Joey Votto. Maybe Arron Harrang's version of "drive the ball" means getting it past the mound while Willy T's is driving it past the diving 2nd baseman into RF while Votto's is a rocket shot into the gap in RC field.

BPhill drives me batty with his swing for the stars approach so I'm not advocating that players should go up looking to knock a Johnson at every at bat. But neither should they look to just weakly chop one to the 2nd baseman's glove and use "productive out" as a cover-up.


Do you really want a right-handed dead pull hitter completely adjusting his approach when it might dramatically decrease his chance for success?

Exactly.

Some hitters can smack one behind the hitter at will. If they are at the plate, and the in-game scenario makes sense, by all means let er rip. But if not, why ask the hitter to lower his chance of success because that's what we did back in the good old days?

RANDY IN INDY
05-14-2009, 04:31 PM
I don't think "driving the ball" and swinging from your heals to the point you spin out of your shoes are synonymous. As you pointed out every player is different. Driving the ball means something different to say Willy Travars than it does Joey Votto. Maybe Arron Harrang's version of "drive the ball" means getting it past the mound while Willy T's is driving it past the diving 2nd baseman into RF while Votto's is a rocket shot into the gap in RC field.

BPhill drives me batty with his swing for the stars approach so I'm not advocating that players should go up looking to knock a Johnson at every at bat. But neither should they look to just weakly chop one to the 2nd baseman's glove and use "productive out" as a cover-up.

Who exactly is doing that?

Exactly.

Some hitters can smack one behind the hitter at will. If they are at the plate, and the in-game scenario makes sense, by all means let er rip. But if not, why ask the hitter to lower his chance of success because that's what we did back in the good old days?

That is as ignorant and as inflammatory a statement as the ones that are made against the "saber way" that are complained about. So directed, nice, and well informed.

Ltlabner
05-14-2009, 04:39 PM
That is as ignorant and as inflammatory a statement as the ones that are made against the "saber way" that are complained about. So directed, nice, and well informed.

Just as it makes no sense to swing for the stars on every pitch, it makes no sense to hit it behind the runner as a reflexive genuflect to the ways of old. I'm not asking Joey Votto (for example) to ignore a pitch he can drive into the gap so he can stick to the tradition of "playing the game the right way". If the count goes against him, he's not seeing the ball well, he's having an off night, or the game situation is such that advancing the runner trumps potentially giving up the out then by all means, change the approach and hit it behind the runner and at least move the guy over (while hopefully getting a hit).

If you find that "ignorant and inflammatory" I suggest you explore the ignore feature.

RANDY IN INDY
05-14-2009, 04:56 PM
Just as it makes no sense to swing for the stars on every pitch, it makes no sense to hit it behind the runner as a reflexive genuflect to the ways of old. I'm not asking Joey Votto (for example) to ignore a pitch he can drive into the gap so he can stick to the tradition of "playing the game the right way". If the count goes against him, he's not seeing the ball well, he's having an off night, or the game situation is such that advancing the runner trumps potentially giving up the out then by all means, change the approach and hit it behind the runner and at least move the guy over (while hopefully getting a hit).

If you find that "ignorant and inflammatory" I suggest you explore the ignore feature.

You know, Ltabner, I do find that your statement was "ignorant and inflammatory" but I have never said that there is only one way to play the game, "good old days" or "Saber." It is the hateful and pointed comments aimed at those of us who see the value in hitting behind the runner and basically totally dismissing everything that I have said about it in the previous posts that I find inflammatory. Too bad that the discussion can't go on without the "good old days," jabs.

Chip R
05-14-2009, 04:58 PM
Cool it, you two.

RANDY IN INDY
05-14-2009, 04:59 PM
I'm cool.

Ltlabner
05-14-2009, 05:07 PM
You know, Ltabner, I do find that your statement was "ignorant and inflammatory" but I have never said that there is only one way to play the game, "good old days" or "Saber."

I'm not even talking about "saber versus tradition". No idea where you are getting that from. I'm talking about maximizing run production.

Chip is right. Now's a good time to walk away because we're apparently having two different conversations.

Sea Ray
05-15-2009, 12:00 AM
There are times I'd like to see the hitter hit behind the runner. The situation that comes to mind is the case where there's a runner on 2nd, no outs and Dusty has the hitter bunting. I'd much rather the hitter try to hit it to the right side so he has a decent chance of not making an out in the process. I hate the concept of purposely trying to make an out.

TheNext44
05-15-2009, 12:35 AM
Base Outs Runs
0 1 2 3 4 5+
Empty 0 0.707 0.154 0.074 0.035 0.016 0.013
Empty 1 0.827 0.101 0.042 0.017 0.007 0.005
Empty 2 0.923 0.051 0.017 0.005 0.002 0.001

1st 0 0.563 0.176 0.132 0.067 0.034 0.028
1st 1 0.717 0.123 0.091 0.04 0.017 0.013
1st 2 0.864 0.062 0.049 0.016 0.006 0.003

2nd 0 0.368 0.348 0.142 0.076 0.035 0.03
2nd 1 0.594 0.23 0.098 0.045 0.018 0.014
2nd 2 0.777 0.147 0.049 0.017 0.006 0.003

3rd 0 0.136 0.542 0.164 0.09 0.035 0.033
3rd 1 0.338 0.478 0.106 0.045 0.018 0.014
3rd 2 0.737 0.187 0.05 0.017 0.006 0.004

1/2 0 0.359 0.219 0.165 0.127 0.07 0.059
1/2 1 0.574 0.161 0.11 0.088 0.038 0.028
1/2 2 0.769 0.106 0.058 0.044 0.015 0.008

1/3 0 0.124 0.417 0.174 0.142 0.076 0.067
1/3 1 0.345 0.37 0.119 0.092 0.042 0.031
1/3 2 0.715 0.151 0.061 0.049 0.016 0.008

2/3 0 0.144 0.249 0.307 0.147 0.079 0.074
2/3 1 0.305 0.285 0.218 0.101 0.053 0.038
2/3 2 0.724 0.054 0.141 0.049 0.021 0.011

FLL 0 0.128 0.255 0.211 0.143 0.134 0.13
FLL 1 0.33 0.252 0.151 0.106 0.093 0.068
FLL 2 0.675 0.092 0.105 0.055 0.048 0.025


A little cleaner for you :)

Just a note on this chart that thatcoolguy_22 so kindly cleaned up for me:

This is not the absolute odds of each situation. This represents the actual frequency of each situation that actually did occur in MLB from 1999-2002.

It is highly probable that if one were compile a similar chart based on data from 2005-2008, one would get a different set of numbers.

Most likely the numbers would be similar enough so that the conclusions that one draws from each chart would be the same. That is to say that while the actual numbers might be slightly different, one would probably still conclude from the 2005-2008 chart that using an out to get the runner from 2nd to 3rd would increase the odds of scoring one run, but decrease the odds of scoring multiple runs, just like in the first chart.

However...

I have wondered if the two charts would be that close.
1999-2002 was in the heart of the Steroids era. Teams on average SLG'd .429 and hit 1.18 home runs per game.
During the last four years, teams have SLG'd on average .422 and hit 1.04 home runs a game. The assumption is that if teams are hitting less home runs, then they would be scoring more than one run in an inning at a less frequent rate.

Not a huge difference, is if big enough to significantly change the above chart enough allow for different conclusions?


I don't know, but I think it is an interesting question.

nate
05-15-2009, 10:03 AM
There are times I'd like to see the hitter hit behind the runner. The situation that comes to mind is the case where there's a runner on 2nd, no outs and Dusty has the hitter bunting. I'd much rather the hitter try to hit it to the right side so he has a decent chance of not making an out in the process. I hate the concept of purposely trying to make an out.

Yes.