Does anybody have the scoop on the new approach to base stealing we've seen from this team. It seems that rather than a player by player situtational thing, there is a very organized approach.
As a team, we don't run frequently, but when we do, we run a ton and are successful. My hunch is that Hatcher has taken the idea of the stolen base and really broken it down in to the 4 factors which matter:
1.) Player speed
2.) Pitcher speed to home plate
3.) Ability to get a lead based of pitcher pick-off move
4.) Catcher's arm
They've basically gotten to the point where they've said "given pitcher X and catcher Y, I want Freel & Lopez going every time". If we know we can steal, we steal with impunity. If the percentages aren't there, we don't run. I like the approach quite a bit, but I think that has a lot to do with why both Freel and Lopez are getting their steals in bunches.
We have enough power that stealing a base when it's a break even proposition just doesn't make sense. However, when the math shows you can steal easily, we're all over it.