Thursday, June 28, 2012

Game 24, Friday, May 2, 1924

Reported on Saturday, May 3, 1924.

Speedy Indian Is Death to Bees In Closing Innnings
In their 24th game of the year, the Seattle Indians evened up the week's series against the Salt Lake City Bees with a thrilling 5 to 4 victory in 12 innings. One of the more exciting games of th earlier part of the 1924 season, it brought the overall record for the Indians to 10 wins and 14 losses. Here's the caption for the Aunt Eppie photographs below:
"Aunt Eppie, The Times' big long range camera, caught some real action in yesterday's game between the Seattle Indians and the Salt Lake Bees. In the upper photograph Vitt is out because Cliff Brady thought faster than he did. Vitt was on second when Frederick grounded to the Indian second sacker. Brady juggled the ball, knew Frederick would probably beat his throw to first, so turned and shot the ball to Ted Baldwin, and Vitt, who had turned thrid, was out in a run down. Ted Baldwin to Earl Baldwin to Ted Baldwin. The latter player is catching the ball from his namesake. Sam Crane is backing Ted up and George Stueland with his back to Aunt Eppie is also set to get in the play if necessary. Duffy Lewis is the Salt Lake coacher – while Umpire Phyle also gets into the picture. The lower photograph is a riot scene and as aproof of the fact that Frank Tobin, the tousle-haired athlete in the background, won the argument in question, please note that he has his head up. Ted Baldwinhas entered as a peacemaker along with numerous others and stands between Tobin and his late antagonist, Les Sheehan, whose head is bowed in defeat, as it were. Nobody seems overly excited, but Lefty O'Doul, who got married Monday, can be seen leaving the scene of action. The trouble started when Tobin blocked Sheehan of fthe plate on an attempted double steal. Sheehan lost his head and started kicking. They rose to their feet and Tobin landed with both fists. Then the fight ended."

Regarding the column, here's a partial transcription:

George Stueland pitched unbeatable baseball after the third inning of yesterday's Salt Lake-Seattle battle and the Indians came through with a rally in the twelfth inning that netted them a run and a 5 to 4 victory over the Bees.

Apparently Stueland doesn't get warmed up properly. In his first start against Sacramento he walked three men in the first four innings. In the second game he walked five in the first four. Yesterday, he walked five in the first three. But after those spells of wildness he was pitching well nigh perfect baseball.
His poor start yesterday almost gave the Bees the game. In fact, except for a dropped fly ball by Fritz Coumbe they would have won 4 to 3 in nine innings. Two walks in the second and one in the third were turned into runs for the Bees when Jenkins and Sheehan delivered doubles.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How many bases does it take to score a run?

Its a simple question, and four is of course the answer. It has been the subject of the research I am doing lately. I presented on the subject today at the Pacific Northwest SABR chapter meeting today. In a basic way, I presented my Total Bases Acquired formula. This is a formula I've devised based on combining offensive elements that have, when simply added together and then divided by games played, at least as high a correlation to team runs scored as OPS.

TBAq/G= [Total Bases + Walks + Hit By Pitcher + Reach on Error + Stolen Bases]/Games Played

Its a relatively simple formula, and quite similar to one Henry Chadwick used called TBA, which was total bases divided by games.

Now, this does not necessarily predict individual runs, but what it does do is predict team runs. Also, you can see with it that any team, by hook or by crook, pretty much that you have to simply produce bases to score runs. Interestingly enough, the more bases you produce, the efficiency with which you produce runs increases. Thus as your bases increase, the number of bases needed to score a run decreases, magnifying the impact of added bases.

Here are the teams in the MLB as of today. First is their runs scored per game, in the third column you'll see their TBAq. In between the two is something I call the Base Efficiency, which is how many bases it takes that team to score a single run. And these are only bases acquired without also creating an out, so a hit, walk, hit by pitch, reaching on error, or stolen base. The BEFF is reached by dividing TBAq and Runs Per Game. Next you see what would have been the expected bases based on their actual runs scored. If there is a negative, that means that team is inefficient in converting their acquired bases to runs. Thus, we could say Washington should have only needed 17.19 bases to produce 3.9 runs per game. However, it took them 18.27 bases, thus as a team, they have to produce more bases than say Toronto in order to score an equal number of runs. It doesn't mean their a good ball club, just that they make do better with what they've got. One thing that is interesting in this year of pitching dominance, is that 66% of teams are under-performing right now in terms of their ability to convert bases to runs (the model I use goes back to 1998). Some of those teams will see their run scoring increase. More than likely, it will be the teams with the high percentage differential as well as being near the top in runs produced. Basically, they have the crude oil needed to produce the gas in the first place, so that will show through.

RUNS BEFF TBAqG exp base diff % diff
2012 WSN 3.90 4.686 18.27 17.19 -1.08 -5.91%
2012 TOR 4.73 4.007 18.95 19.16 0.20 1.07%
2012 TEX 5.25 3.965 20.82 20.38 -0.43 -2.07%
2012 TBR 4.38 4.152 18.19 18.33 0.14 0.78%
2012 STL 4.86 4.118 20.02 19.46 -0.55 -2.76%
2012 SFG 4.03 4.379 17.65 17.50 -0.14 -0.82%
2012 SEA 4.02 4.233 17.02 17.48 0.46 2.72%
2012 SDP 3.37 5.063 17.06 15.94 -1.12 -6.56%
2012 PIT 3.24 4.806 15.57 15.64 0.06 0.41%
2012 PHI 4.29 4.274 18.33 18.12 -0.22 -1.18%
2012 OAK 3.80 4.607 17.51 16.96 -0.55 -3.14%
2012 NYY 4.76 4.325 20.59 19.23 -1.36 -6.61%
2012 NYM 4.52 4.040 18.26 18.66 0.40 2.18%
2012 MIN 4.25 4.314 18.33 18.02 -0.31 -1.70%
2012 MIL 4.31 4.408 19.00 18.16 -0.84 -4.40%
2012 MIA 3.67 4.854 17.81 16.65 -1.16 -6.52%
2012 LAD 4.35 4.195 18.25 18.26 0.01 0.07%
2012 LAA 4.03 4.428 17.85 17.50 -0.34 -1.93%
2012 KCR 3.82 4.678 17.87 17.01 -0.87 -4.84%
2012 HOU 4.25 4.165 17.70 18.02 0.32 1.80%
2012 DET 4.42 4.249 18.78 18.42 -0.36 -1.91%
2012 COL 5.21 3.936 20.51 20.29 -0.22 -1.06%
2012 CLE 4.32 4.262 18.41 18.19 -0.23 -1.22%
2012 CIN 4.41 4.283 18.89 18.40 -0.49 -2.59%
2012 CHW 4.78 3.991 19.08 19.27 0.20 1.03%
2012 CHC 3.69 4.637 17.11 16.70 -0.41 -2.40%
2012 BOS 4.98 3.969 19.77 19.75 -0.02 -0.10%
2012 BAL 4.56 4.225 19.27 18.75 -0.51 -2.65%
2012 ATL 4.66 4.030 18.78 18.99 0.21 1.11%
2012 ARI 4.27 4.409 18.83 18.07 -0.76 -4.03%

Another thing I'm interesting in is strikeouts. Did you know that players will have a higher OPS in games in which they strikeout vs games in which don't. Also, K's are way up the last few years. That K phenomenon shows up in the OPS of players even when you add in hits, like even 1 or 2 hits a game. In fact, its still about even for players in games in which they go 2 for 4 and have a K vs a game in which they go 2 for 4 and have a different kind of out. Some, at the top end have a higher OPS (all are high in that circumstance, since they start with a .500 BA and probably have a walk). What I think this has to do with is a strikeout is evidence of a pitcher advantage. There is no way to measure that advantage until you see it stretched out over 1,500 at bats. In the short term, strikouts don't make a difference, an outs an out. But just as a hit is not a hit, an out is not an out.