Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Big O--not enough to go around

ShysterBall links to a USA Today article about the increase in offense this season. Seems that runs and HRs are up across MLB. This is where I become a baseball socialist and demand our fair share! (I realize it is early in the season, and the numbers could flatten out a bit.) Here's another tidbit:

Teams entered Tuesday scoring 4.88 runs a game, the highest total through a similar number of games since 2000, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, when they averaged 5.39 runs a game. The hidden secret is that walks also are up. Teams are averaging 7.40 walks per game, compared to 6.73 walks in 2008. Baseball has not averaged more than seven walks a game in a full season since 2000.**

Wow. I want some of that Kool-Aid. Carney, me bhoy, where are ye?



Zo said...

There are only three teams in the major leagues with a run support (runs per nine innings) of less than 4. They are all in the NL West (which probably explains why we are not in last place). The Padres and the dbacks are worse than we are. Of major league starters who have thrown 30 innings, only one has worse run support than Zito. His name is Dan Haren. I would wager to guess that Zito's run support in his tenure as a Giant ranks right down there with Matt Cain's.

M.C. O'Connor said...

He certainly got "Cain'd" last night.

Ron said...

Sorry to rain on the Matt Cain / Barry Zito 'woe is me' bandwagon, but here is one of the problems: Matt Cain (at least, in the previous few years) & Barry Zito (since he has been a Giant) have given up 1st inning runs very often (e.g. last night). Starting the game by putting your team in a hole is demoralizing & directly influences the team's ability to bounce back - what was that stat about the '09 Giants winning percentage after scoring first? Cain seems to be improving in this department, but Zito isn't. On the other hand, it was 'Hammerin' Scott' Hairston, so I suppose that holding them to just the single run in the 1st inning was quite impressive.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I'd be willing to bet that "late-inning" runs are more important in terms of wins (all other things being equal), but I don't have any numbers to back that up. Sure, zeros on the board are always good, but pitching 8 and yielding 2 OUGHT to give you a high chance of winning.

The Puds WE was 74.5% after Hundley's HR. Fred's walk in the 6th followed by Aurilia's single lowered the WE from 80.2 to 71.3%. Burriss made an out getting the run home, the WE went back up to 72.2% and that was a close as we got. Imagine if we got some HITS there instead.

Zo said...

Zito pitched 8 innings and held the puds to 2 runs. His era went down. Giving up a run in the first inning has nothing to do with it. If the Giants are unable to score any runs with 11 runners in scoring position, they deserve to be demoralized. Statistically speaking, if you start the game by putting your team in a hole, you improve your chances of bouncing back by 100%. (Think about it.)

JC Parsons said...

Ron has a better point than you guys think. Early runs have a big impact on weak hitting and running type teams, which is what we are. Running games are often shut down once a team is down. Weak hitters that are incapable of homeruns will TRY to hit them when they behind but will stay within their strengths in other situations.
Early runs are also SUPER important for teams that have strong STARTING pitching (in the National League). Think of how often starters must be removed for pinch hitters when you are trailing. I think you will see this trend, that we win when we get an early lead, for the rest of the year.

JC Parsons said...

BTW Weird article, not sure that it proves anything. Are they comparing the same period of time for each season? ie Are they looking at the first few weeks of each season? if that's the case then how did each season end? Is there a correlation between the two? They seem to imply that the offensive "increase" is due to inexperienced pitchers. That would be easy to calculate and see if there is a correlation...why didn't they do that?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Re article: Yes, it is just a snapshot, but it did surprise me that runs and HRs were up. If you are looking for statistical analysis, that is, talk about "correlations" and stuff, then you have to read the sabermetric (uh, nerd) sites. What strikes me is that runs and HRs are up. Must be the new and improved undetectable PEDs.

2. A "running" team looking for runs is doomed to fail. You have to get hits. Sure, I'll buy that weak-hitting, whoops, I mean strong-pitching teams do better when they score first. So what? We need to score MORE runs--that's the bottom line. We should be so lucky to have the luxury to pick "when" we score.

I like our improved fielding, that has to be a huge help to our pitchers. Both Cain and Zito got some good glove behind them.