Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Base Running Blunders

One of the things my cohort Will often stresses is the necessity of good base running -- speed on the bases (which has the added bonus of range on the field) and awareness on the paths. We don't get to see a lot of that as Cubs fans -- except, apparently, when the Mets come to town. The following graphic Justin Bopp made over at Beyond the Boxscore really tells us how little we take the extra base -- or take it successfully:


The chart is according to EqBRR Equivalent Base Running Runs, which Baseball Prospectus defines as:
...the number of runs contributed by a player's advancement on the bases, above what would be expected based on the number and quality of the baserunning opportunities with which the player is presented, park-adjusted and based on a multi-year run expectancy table.
Apparently even the often overly-critical Bob Brenly sees this base running problem, chalking it up to a holistic lack of fundamentals.

That being said, I think the Cubs offensive woes are coming from much more than base running gaffs, but these lost runs seem to be needlessly lost runs, which hurts more. If the Cubs could just keep their heads on a tighter swivel, or the coaches run a few extra drills, maybe we can eek out that extra run or 4.6 or so. Then, when the unlucky (or low BABIP) side of our offense comes around, we'll already be in a better position (i.e. standing in the NL Central) to take advantage of it.

Of course, right now everything feels like too little too late.

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