There was once a time when I considered my favorite Red of all-time, Tony Perez, one of the great clutch hitters of all time.  Anyone who said otherwise would face my own special rendition of the Wrath of Khan.

I was wrong.

There was once a time when I thought Davey Johnson was one of the worst managers ever to inhabit a baseball uniform, back when he was eschewing sacrifice bunts for big innings with the New York Mets.

Wrong again.

But, I’m getting smarter.  The discussion about advanced metrics, and RISP in particular, is wholly dependent upon two parties engaged enough to be willing to listen to each other–as the estimable Jason Linden pointed out the other day. I mean, when you can’t get past the fact that five base hits are all that separate Joey Votto from underachieving lost boy to hitter supreme in the eyes of those who live in that “It’s a Small, Small Sample Size World”–you’ve pretty much hit a dead end.

It’s okay to be wrong.  It’s quite liberating, in fact.  Take it from one who knows.

Meanwhile, read this:

John Erardi kills it.

Postscript:  This piece was also co-authored by Joel Luckhaupt.  How could I have missed that?  And I’m wrong yet again.  I hate that.

Luckhaupt kills it. too.


Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. I love reading Erardi’s stuff. I wish he’d write more.

  2. From the article:

    “Overall, the Reds have driven in 29 percent of the runners they’ve had on base, which is both the National League average and tied for fourth in the league. (Couldn’t somebody come out and actually say that sometime?)”

    On the scoreboard this weekend, I saw this stat at least once, if not more, before and during each game. It’s like the scoreboard guys are trying to send a message to the fans who go outside hoping for the sky to fall around them.

  3. As my favorite of all Reds, too, I still believe Tony Perez to be one the game’s all-time greatest in clutch situations. His 106 sacrifice flies rank No. 16 among the all-time career leaders in MLB. While I now know it wasn’t anywhere close to being the case back then, it seems like when I was growing up in the days of the Big Red Machine that most times when a Red was on third base with less than two outs he would be brought in to score by Perez (or Bench or Concepcion or Foster). With more players striking out today, it would be interesting to know if sac flies happened more frequently then than they do today.

  4. And, our friend, Joel Luckhaupt, let’s not forget him…

  5. Based on some discussion yesterday, I’d like to show why 1-6 with the bases loaded isn’t really all that “bad,” so I decided to calculate the probability of all outcomes given Joey Votto’s 1-6 with the bases loaded.

    For my rate of success, I used Votto’s career average of .329 in high leverage situations presented in one of the posts yesterday.

    Below of the odds of each occurence:

    0 for 6: 9.13% chance
    1 for 6: 26.85% chance
    2 for 6: 32.91% chance
    3 for 6: 21.52% chance
    4 for 6: 7.91% chance
    5 for 6: 1.55% chance
    6 for 6: 0.13% chance

    You’ll notice the vast majority of the probably lies with going 1 for 6, 2 for 6, or 3 for 6. Around 81%. So, that is to say, 4 out of every 5 times Votto has 6 ABs with the bases loaded, we can expect him to go 1,2, or 3 for 6.

    Also, look at the futility side. There is a 35.98% chance (greater than 1 in 3) that Votto with go either 0 for 6 or 1 for 6.

    Takeaways: You can reasonably expect Votto to never (less than 1 in 10 trials) go 0 for 6 over any period with the bases loaded, and reasonably never expect him to go 5 for 6 or 6 for 6 (less than 1 in 59 trials). You CAN expect him to go 1 for 6, 2 for 6, or 3 for 6.

    So stop all the belly-aching about 1 for 6! It’s statistically plasible that a hitter Votto’s caliber goes 1 for 6 every 4th trial of 6 ABs with the bases loaded! Thanks for reading!

    • @prjeter: That is an excellent breakdown of probabilities. It makes perfect sense statistically. One thing stats don’t show is how ugly that 1-6 has been. I know of at least two early count weak grounders. That is the part that is un-Votto-like.

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