City-Data Forum 2013 Playoffs and World Series Thread (bigger, cards, pitchers, strategy)
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10-25-2013, 07:45 AM
 Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California 41,344 posts, read 18,657,581 times Reputation: 18803

Quote:
 Originally Posted by jtur88 You have altered the events of the game, and argued that if they had attempted more steals, they would have scored fewer runs. That is altering the events of the game. You have also argued that a different strategy in each instance would have regressed the outcome to the sabermetric mean, regardless of the runner, or the pitcher, or the catcher, or the batter, or the score, or the game situation. Your roulette wheel analogy is saying that every runner in every situation has exactly the same SB success ratio, and every succeeding batter has exactly the same productivity potential. Which deserves no comment. You are a die hard opponent of every stolen base, because you are dedicated to the principle that the SB attempt always, in every situation, rregresses to the mean of reduced RE, and is therefore invariably bad strategy. If you are not an opponent of every stolen base in every situation, then you must subscribe to the doctrine that sometimes it is of benefit, which is exactly what I have proposed. You can't have it both ways.
I have altered no events, I have not made the argument you assign to me, the differences in sb ability has no bearing on the collective data, I am not a die hard opponent of the stolen base.

You got everything wrong....everything. Do you not understand probability? If we can establish mathematically that the supposed benefits of the stolen base are indistinguishable from random outcomes, do you not understand what that means? Do you not understand that selecting a portion of a data base and relying on that rather than the entire data base is tossing away what you have learned from examining the entire data base?

The Cardinals were the most successful offense in the NL this season and they achieved this despite ignoring the sb "weapon." Your argument is what? That if they had only run more often they would have scored even more runs? That if only Matheny had listened to you they could have finished better than first place in runs scored? That what was a successful strategy all year long, eschewing the sb, suddenly becomes a bad strategy in the post season, or a bad strategy in those "sb situations" you have identified?

The numbers are against you here and they are massively more persuasive than your wild guesses.

10-25-2013, 08:13 AM
 Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California 41,344 posts, read 18,657,581 times Reputation: 18803
Quote:
 Originally Posted by sskink To suggest odds are the same in every situation is to ignore the fact that certain pitcher/catcher combinations are easier to steal against than others (think AJ Burnett/Rod Barajas in 2012). .
Such situations prevailed numerous times during the regular season and Matheny did not try and capitalize on them. Somehow or other, despite this supposed foolishness, the Cardinals were still the top offense in the league in 2013.

It isn't just getting caught which makes the sb a bad risk, it is also the probability of the risk having been taken without need. If a runner attempts to steal and is successful, and the next guy hits the ball over the fence, the benefit of that stolen base is negated, the runner would have scored regardless. That is the lesson from the data...not that stolen bases do not help sometimes, but that the payoff does not justify the risk if you have the sort of offense which scores a lot without having to steal any bases.

Which is the kind of offense the Cardinals have. They were so good at sustaining rallies that it became foolish in the extreme to risk that with a stolen base attempt, which has a very low probability of being a positive contribution, but a high probability of being a negative one if it fails. None of that changes because it is the post season, or because it is a "stolen base situation" or because a particular battery doesn't do a good job of controlling the running game.

Last edited by Grandstander; 10-25-2013 at 08:22 AM..

10-25-2013, 09:49 AM
 Location: Victoria TX 42,663 posts, read 74,455,078 times Reputation: 36100
Quote:
 Originally Posted by sskink Not exactly true. If the Cards are measuring time to the plate and notice something in their favor, then science is applied and the odds turn to the Cards favor. To suggest odds are the same in every situation is to ignore the fact that certain pitcher/catcher combinations are easier to steal against than others (think AJ Burnett/Rod Barajas in 2012). I don't know enough about the Lackey/Salty combo to suggest they're as bad as my example, but given Matheny doesn't employ double steals often, I'd venture a guess they saw something that made the tactic a better than average risk.
Everybody in the world knew they were going to run, and Kozma, pinch running, nearly got picked off breaking early, so there was sure as hell no element of surprise.

To respond to your argument, the Cards do not tally up runs with home runs, they do it by base-to-base hitting with RISP, and the sole purpose of the SB is to put a runner where he can score on a high-probability single, not a low-probability home run. So, given the team's scoring strategy, moving a runner from first to second actually has a higher margin of utility than it would for most other teams' offensive expectations, because of the higher ratio of productive one base hits as opposed to home runs..

Just because a team lead the league in runs scored does not by itself prove that additional tactics might have lead to even higher run production. The Cardinals were 6-6 in extra inning games. Should have been 8-4, going by their overall pct. So in two of those losses, if they had stolen a base, they would have won the game, and a CS wouldn't have hurt because they lost anyway. So that's two more wins, with just two SBs, selectively placed. And still preserve Matheny's lifelong goal of being last in the league in SB. In fact, they were just 20-16 in one-run games, so several of those could have been won, as well, just by putting one more man into scoring position. There was only 1-run or extra inning loss all season in which a runner was caught stealing, and could possibly have been converted into a win by not attempting to steal. It was in the 2nd inning. (There were actually two, but one was a pickoff.)

Last edited by jtur88; 10-25-2013 at 10:40 AM..

10-25-2013, 10:21 AM
 20,938 posts, read 39,287,763 times Reputation: 19240
I missed most of the game last night, but it seems the real Cardinals showed up for game 2, and it was Boston who committed miscues.

I note that all 3 Cardinal pitchers last night are youngsters, Wacha is 22, Martinez is 22, and Rosenthal is 23. IMO the Cards have a potential 10-15 year pitching dynasty in the making.
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10-25-2013, 11:13 AM
 48,446 posts, read 45,664,836 times Reputation: 15425
Quote:
 Originally Posted by City Guy997S Check into Daniel Nava and his story......you will be rooting for him and the Red Sox in no time! Nava was a nobody, college teams wouldn't let him play (too small, too slow,etc) but he kept trying even becoming one team's equipment manager just so he could still work out with the team! Played AA ball, some AAA but all said he is just average. Red Sox got him on contract for \$1 and he made his debut in June 2010. Played 30-35 games, cut for 2011, 2012 he wasn't even invited to spring training yet being Nava he showed up anyway and made the team. 2013 he is one of the best hitters in the American League yet Farrell still put Gomes in to play (calling it a "gut feeling"). Nava came in last night after Gomes did nothing with the bat and hit a double, stole 3rd and scored on the Bogarts sac fly.....longshot kid pays off again! Nava's big league debut in 2010: Grand Slam at Fenway on his first pitch in MLB! 2010/06/12 Nava's grand slam - YouTube From a fan's perspective: Nava Grand Slam - YouTube
It is a rags to riches story. Still, I don't like the Red Sox or the Cardinals. I don't want to watch.

10-25-2013, 11:42 AM
 Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California 41,344 posts, read 18,657,581 times Reputation: 18803
Quote:
 Originally Posted by jtur88 So, given the team's scoring strategy, moving a runner from first to second actually has a higher margin of utility than it would for most other teams' offensive expectations, because of the higher ratio of productive one base hits as opposed to home runs..
Can you back up this assertion with data? It isn't true. You are still making the same mistake of basing your calculations only on potential positives while ignoring the negative impact of failure.

Lesson one in understanding all this is an appreciation that outs are more valuable than bases. The reason for this is the structure of the innings. Four bases are required to be gained in order to produce a run, but only three outs are needed to prevent that run. Each base brings you 25% closer to your goal, but each out brings you 33 % closer to failure. Therefore avoiding outs is more valuable than gaining single bases.

When a hitter is at the plate, he has the potential to gain several bases at once via an extra base hit. On a stolen base attempt the ratio is one base for one out risked....given the math, that is a bad trade. You are risking bringing yourself 33 % closer to failure in exchange for the possible payoff of getting 25 % closer to scoring a run.

Therefore it makes sense to only use a stolen base attempt, which is a one run strategy, in situations where one run is critical to the outcome. That typically would be the final innings of a game which is tied or is a one run game at the time. Using this weapon in the earlier innings, when you still have no idea of how many runs you will need to prevail, is foolish because you have the potential of destroying big innings by throwing away outs in a situation where you just don't know if the gain from the risk is going to be helpful or not.

10-25-2013, 01:07 PM
 Location: Victoria TX 42,663 posts, read 74,455,078 times Reputation: 36100
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Grandstander Can you back up this assertion with data? It isn't true. You are still making the same mistake of basing your calculations only on potential positives while ignoring the negative impact of failure.
No I didn't. I acknowledged the failure risk, and pointed out that the Cardinals lost only one game all season in which a caught-stealing could possibly have been a contributing factor, and that was on a second inning CS. I do not know how many of their 45 steals contributed to a win, but only one failure could have possibly had any bearing on a loss.

And a steal attempt with two outs and the number 8 hitter at the plate batting .216 with the pitcher to follow risks a much lower RE than league-wide sabermetrics predicts. A fact which will no doubt surprise you, but is true nevertheless.

I also do not know in which innings Matheny used the steal attempt, and I'm not going to look it up. but my point (my ONLY point, as a matter of fact) was that Matheny under-utilizes the stealing potential that his players possess. Additionally, in support of that, I expressed the view that more frequent high-probability SB attempts would have yielded more runs overall, not less, the margin or which could have been concentrated into pivotal game situations.

He has players who can steal. Here is the best minor league season SB marks by current Cardinals, not counting those who are slowed by age:
Wong 20/21
Jay 20/28 and 13/13
Robinson 16/19
Chambers 16/18
Kozma 13/15
Descalso 12/15
Carpenter 11/13
In addition, Holliday is 6/7 this year and has a MLB best of 28/30.

The break-even point is generally considered to be about 70%, and Matheny's Cards over two years have stolen bases at a rate of .697. There are always a few pickoffs counted as CS, so the real pct. in actual attempts is somewhat over 70.

Last edited by jtur88; 10-25-2013 at 02:11 PM..

10-25-2013, 01:40 PM
 Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California 41,344 posts, read 18,657,581 times Reputation: 18803
jtur88
Quote:
 And a steal attempt with two outs and the number 8 hitter at the plate batting .216 with the pitcher to follow risks a much lower RE than league-wide sabermetrics predicts. A fact which will no doubt surprise you, but is true nevertheless.
That does not make sense....if league wide sabermetrics predicts something, it will have been on the basis of examining every outcome of every similar circumstance, not on the basis of forgetting to examine the specific situation you describe whenever it arose. So, yeah, that would surprise the hell out of me if it was true, which happily, it isn't.
Quote:
 I also do not know in which innings Matheny used the steal attempt, and I'm not going to look it up. but my point (my ONLY point, as a matter of fact) was that Matheny under-utilizes the stealing potential that his players possess. Additionally, in support of that, I expressed the view that more frequent high-probability SB attempts would have yielded more runs overall, not less, the margin or which could have been concentrated into pivotal game situations.
Again, you are writing as though the object of an offense is compiling stolen bases, not scoring runs. The only reason to employ any offensive strategy would be the belief that it will enhance your chances of scoring runs. The only way to evaluate the chances you took is to count all the times it happens and look at the results. The counting has been done, the results are in, attempting stolen bases when you have a team which does not need to steal in order to score, harms your chances of scoring.

By the way.....the Cards were last in stolen bases in the NL while finishing first in runs scored. Know who the only team in MLB was who stole even fewer bases than the Cards? It was the Tigers...who finished second in the AL in runs scored.

10-25-2013, 08:40 PM
 Location: Victoria TX 42,663 posts, read 74,455,078 times Reputation: 36100
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Grandstander jtur88 That does not make sense....if league wide sabermetrics predicts something, it will have been on the basis of examining every outcome of every similar circumstance, not on the basis of forgetting to examine the specific situation you describe whenever it arose. So, yeah, that would surprise the hell out of me if it was true, which happily, it isn't.

I thought you understood sabermetrics. The RE is the cumulative average of runs scored in each situation, reflecting the experiences. good and bad, of all the batters in the league coming up to the plate. If you think it doesn't matter, then go ahead, but I am laboring under the impression that a situation has a better Run Expectancy if Allen Craig is at the plate, than if Pete Kozma is.

10-25-2013, 08:50 PM
 Location: Currently living in Reddit 5,655 posts, read 5,717,456 times Reputation: 7280
Quote:
 Originally Posted by jtur88 I thought you understood sabermetrics. The RE is the cumulative average of runs scored in each situation, reflecting the experiences. good and bad, of all the batters in the league coming up to the plate. If you think it doesn't matter, then go ahead, but I am laboring under the impression that a situation has a better Run Expectancy if Allen Craig is at the plate, than if Pete Kozma is.
If Grandstander not going to steal on AJ Burnett pitching to Rod Barajas, he's simply not going to steal.

Lou Brock and Ricky Henderson should not be HoFers. Just think of how many runs they cost their teams.
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