- FanGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs -

“Those are the little things that I don’t think you can see in the box score, ever.”

That’s what Mike Lowell said. Actually, we can put it in. This is what the win expectancy matrix was set up for.

Let’s look at this chart. It’s the bottom of the 12th (look at the bottom of the 9th), the batter just flied out to make the 2nd out, and Scutaro would 99% of the time remain on 1B. That sets the win expectancy at .562. But Scutaro actually went to 2B, for a win expectancy of .610. So, we credit Scutaro with +.048 wins.

There you go, Mr. Lowell, it is now officially in the boxscore. If it’s tangible, we can measure it. And Scutaro going to 2B is tangible and measurable.

All we need to do is get the scorers to make a better notation in the boxscore so we can separate these plays better. If it was a deep fly ball that any runner would have made it, we give 100% of the credit to the batter. If it was a flyball that essentially makes the Scutaro play like a SB attempt, we give 100% of the credit to the runner. The tough ones are the in-between plays where the split is not so easily done.

By the way, had Scutaro been thrown out, the odds go down to .500, or a drop of .062 wins. So, it’s a very heads up play by Scutaro, as he only needed to be safe 56% of the time to breakeven. So, the issue is not that Scutaro went for it, but rather, why don’t more runners go for it on those plays? As Scutaro said: do or die.

***

Also, someone else pointed out to me that they IBB the next batter, raising the win expectancy from .610 to .613. Why did it go up, if the lead runner wins the game in either case? And, having a runner on base now makes the outs at three bases possible. I didn’t look into it, other than guess that it’s because two walks wins the game.