When little ball “works”, (ie.a team scores its one run)., we hear about it endlessly. When little ball fails, as it did in the 8th inning we don’t hear a peep, about how costly playing for one run is.

In the 8th inning LaRue gets a double, Cruz gets on 1st, and then one of the best hitters on the team “sacrifices” himself for the good of the team advancing the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Were the extra bases worth giving up the first out of the inning, when he is followed in the linuep by a guy that makes an out 71% of the time, and a guy that makes an out 62% of the time? If you were in Vegas how much money would you put on something that succeeds 29% of the time? 38%?

UPDATE: (from Chad) But we won! All that will be ignored, as long as the Reds win. Even if the Reds win in spite of small ball, or in spite of Adam Dunn hitting seventh.

Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. Well, you don’t have to get on base in order to knock in a runner on third base with less than two outs. Its not the managers fault this team won’t hit according to the situation.

    In case you haven’t noticed, this team has left way too many men on base using the strategy you advocate.

  2. Plus they’re in/near the bottom of baseball in hitting w/ RISP.

  3. You want them to be even worse with RISP, by giving themselves up to “get ’em over” or whatever.

  4. Plus they’re in/near the bottom of baseball in hitting w/ RISP.

    No they aren’t

    In the NL

    IN RISP they are ninth in OPS and 4th in runs

    .251/.355/.411/.765

    with 2 outs and RISP they are 5th in OPS and Runs

    With no one on they are 11th in OPS but #1 in runs scored…. Thanks to Dunn’s solo HR’s

  5. So far this year the Reds are third in the NL in the percentage of runners that get on base and end up scoring at 38.1%. (The Cardinals are first at 39.3% and the Braves second at 38.6%) And they are actually slightly below the league average for the number of runners left on base per game (7.06 to the league average of 7.08).

    I know it’s frustrating to watch a game and see them leave people on base, but they don’t do it anymore than the average team.

    Maybe it just feels like they do since if they don’t score 6 runs every night, they have a very slim chance of winning. But I don’t put that blame on the offense.

  6. Blue,

    I haven’t noticed that because it is false. Don’t just throw around Stupid Marty Rhetoric, bring some facts..

    When Facts aren’t on your side, just yell Baseball People are all smart, or Bunts win Championships, or Pitch to Contact.

  7. Well, considering that getting another guy on base with a walk doesn’t do much to drive runs in, I don’t think OPS is the appropriate statistic.

    Joel’s comments, however, seem to completely deflate what I said. Moving the runner over isn’t something that should be done in all circumstances, but if you need a run and have a guy on with no one out, you should be able to move him over, and then knock him in. Putting the ball in play on the right side with a runner on third base is something every player should be able to do more than 38% of the time.

  8. I would agree with you on that, Blue. There are times when you need to get the run in or the guy over for a higher percentage batter, and this isn’t measured in statistics very well. It doesn’t mean that you should play “little ball” all the time, but there are times to do the little things if the percentages work in your favor.

  9. Try reading this. Basically the bunt is worth -.106 runs. There is very little difference in the situation, but why waste even that small fraction of a run?

  10. The only time bunts are worthwhile is when you’re playing for ONE run. Given the Reds rotation and bullpen, I’d say that ONLY applies in a tie game, bottom of the ninth (or extra innings at home).

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Reds - General