A tremendous performance no doubt. As Crawford has matured his basestealing has grown increasingly biased toward right handers. In 07, 08 and 09 he has stolen 77 bases on righthanders and only 9 on lefthanders. In fact, in that time period he’s only attempted 13 steals against lefthanders.
Not really related to the feat discussed here, but rather baserunning philosophy in general. Aggressive managers such as Mike Scioscia and Ozzie Guillen put runners in motion often to “put pressure on the defense.” Has anybody ever broken this down? Presumably, the effect would show itself in the BAbip difference, controlling for the hitter at the plate (hit-and-runs are more likely to be called with high-contact hitters, for example). Does anybody know if this has been studied before?
the study found zero “pressure” effect. pitchers did not pitch less successfully nor did defenses defend less successfully in the face of base stealers or “small ball” tactics.
Comment by fanOFdefenseAGAIN — May 4, 2009 @ 7:40 am
That seems like a rather shocking conclusion, considering you’re creating huge gaps in the defense.
Theoretically, you’re probably giving the hitter an extra 10? feet as the first baseman holds the hitter on. You’re also giving him an extra 10-15 feet? as the covering MI, pretty much gives up whatever range he has to the side he’s running away from (2nd basemen covering second gives up any range he has towards first base)
The only way I can explain zero net change, is the batters crumbling under the pressure to hit the ball to the hole created by the covering defender. I suppose there’s a very real possibility that the hitter would hit substantially worse while trying to pick a spot, than if he was just hitting.
I’m still not buying it though, and if I wasn’t lazy I’d definitely look to see what the variables are.
I believe the hit and run is employed primarily to reduce the probability of a double play on a ground ball hit with a runner on 1st, and not to increase the probability of a hit per se. With a right handed hitter, and therefore the second baseman probably covering the bag, it also increases the probability of the runner advancing to third on a ground ball to the right side. For these reasons it’s not normally used with 2 men out, which would be the case if it were used to increase the chances of a hit. With a ground ball pitcher and a contact hitter it can be a smart play.
I expect the probability of the base runner is caught stealing if no contact is made with two outs would usually outweigh the increased probability of a hit. Especially if the hit and run is not guaranteeing a run. If he has CC’s speed than he could score on a double/triple/hr.