Originally Posted by Redsland
Great thread! I hope I don't screw it up by posting something that's been covered elsewhere, but I've been scarce of late, and I'm having a tough time keeping up (I miss DanO
Anyway, the stat you noted above, rather than being surprising, is exactly what I'd expect from a conservative, by-the-books running philosophy.
When the batter is behind in the count, the pitcher is more likely to waste a breaking pitch. All things being equal, that's a good time to go. (Pitchouts and strong-armed catchers notwithstanding.) When the batter is ahead, OTOH, you have to look for him to bring the gas, making a CS easier to obtain.
Again, outstanding work, and I'm sorry if I've gone and Tim McCarver'ed everything.
Thanks, RL! Ya know, the more I think about it, the more you're right about that's what we should expect, especially when considering that hit-and-run situations largely occur when the batter is ahead in the count. Those types of situations sometimes force guys who rarely or never steal bags to be off on the pitch, and if the batter fails to make contact, those guys are sometimes thrown out by several feet.
Of course, that begs the question on how valuable the hit-and-run is and if it's even worth utilizing at all during the vast majority of game situations. Knowing the success hitters have while ahead in the count, if a batter is already up there in a hitting count, it calls into question the intelligence of asking that batter to go after a potentially bad pitch during a hit-and-run. In some situations the hit-and-run actually works, but in most situations A) the batter swings at a bad pitch, thereby likely making an out or getting another strike, or B) the baserunner gets caught stealing during a situation where the guy at the plate was already ahead in the count.
Of course, I wonder what Tim McCarver really would say about all of that