Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 04-07-2006, 09:32 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Lost In Space
Posts: 7,824
Baseball Fans: Runners Left On Base?

Can a baseball fan tell me what this statistic really means, if stated by itself? For example, consider The Visitors score 6 runs 9 hits 1 error and strand 3 men whereas the Home Team scores 9 runs 14 hits and 1 error and strand 9 men.

While I realize stranding men is bad, in general, especially if they were in scoring position. But, if I only said the home team stranded 9 men without the score, you'd say that's terrible. But, is it so bad? I mean, the Home Team did win, right?

Is there some other way this stat can be interpreted to have more meaning? Perhaps a running team average (men left on / total men on base) maintained through the season? - Jinx
#2
Old 04-07-2006, 10:06 PM
MLS MLS is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 7,841
It's not a major statistic by itself. Obviously you can't have more than 3 men LOB in an inning. If you frequently have 2 or 3 LOB in several innings AND you are not scoring, it should tell the manager that the team is not taking advantage of scoring opportunities, and it's his job to figure out how to fix that.

If you have, say, a 6-run inning and 3 LOB, no problem. The team may have been getting hits consistently and the pitcher finally managed to get some fly balls or strikeouts to stop the merry-go-round. Somebody is eventually going to get the 3rd out.

Nine LOB in an entire game is only one per inning, which is no big deal. In order to be left on base, you obviously got there in the first place, which is a good thing. Sometimes I hear sports commentators moan about men LOB as if they expected every single batter not only to hit but to score a run, too. Heck, if he's left on base it might be because he made good base running decisions and kept the inning alive for the baserunner in front of him to score.
#3
Old 04-07-2006, 10:47 PM
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 39,005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinx
Can a baseball fan tell me what this statistic really means, if stated by itself? For example, consider The Visitors score 6 runs 9 hits 1 error and strand 3 men whereas the Home Team scores 9 runs 14 hits and 1 error and strand 9 men.

While I realize stranding men is bad, in general, especially if they were in scoring position. But, if I only said the home team stranded 9 men without the score, you'd say that's terrible. But, is it so bad? I mean, the Home Team did win, right?

Is there some other way this stat can be interpreted to have more meaning? Perhaps a running team average (men left on / total men on base) maintained through the season? - Jinx
Over the course of the season, the teams that leave the most men on base will score the most runs and win the most games. It's simply obvious that teams that hit better will always leave more men on base, since they're putting more men on base. The innings have to end sometime, and you're not going to hit a home run at the end of every inning.

Within a single game it can tell you if a team had a frustrating day, e.g. if they scored one run and left eleven men on, which certainly does suck, but those games tend to balance out with the games where you scored eight and left one man on.

Teams (at least at the pro level) simply don't vary all that much in terms of how well they hit with runners in scoring position and whatnot. If they get a lot of guys on base they score a lot of runs, and if they don't, they don't. The only other important factor is how many home runs they hit. Stuff like how many bases you steal or sacrifice bunts you make and stuff has no significant impact at all.

Regrettably, I cannot find anywhere that lists 2005 runners left on base for major league teams, but I'll keep looking.
#4
Old 04-07-2006, 11:02 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: The Golden State
Posts: 10,565
The 1976 Reds, who were really good, hold the NL record for most LOB in a season at 1328. The 1941 Browns have the MLB record at 1334. They weren't very good.

The single game record for a team in a 9-inning game was 20 by the Yankees on 9/21/1956 vs. Boston. The Yankees lost that day 13-7.

The NL record is 18, held by many teams. The last time was by Atlanta on 6/23/1986 at L.A. The Braves won 6-5.
They had 14 hits, 9 walks and one batter reaching on an error. 24 baserunners, 6 scored, 18 were left as the Braves had no runners caught stealing and didn't hit into any DPs. All 14 hits were singles.
#5
Old 04-08-2006, 01:39 PM
Head Cheese
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: El Cerrito, CA
Posts: 3,920
The number of runners left on base is used in proving a box score, i.e. in checking to make sure things balance. The sum of a team's at-bats, walks, hit batters, sacrifice bunts, sacrifice flies and times reached base due to interference or obstruction should equal the sum of the teams runs, outs (on offense) and runners left on base.
#6
Old 04-08-2006, 05:02 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Trantor
Posts: 11,466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman
The number of runners left on base is used in proving a box score, i.e. in checking to make sure things balance. The sum of a team's at-bats, walks, hit batters, sacrifice bunts, sacrifice flies and times reached base due to interference or obstruction should equal the sum of the teams runs, outs (on offense) and runners left on base.
That's true enough. I basically use it as a check digit when I am scoring. The sum runs + lob + 3 had better add up to the total number of batters recorded or there is some mistake in the scoring. (Don't count a batter whose at bat was not complete; he will begin the next inning.) As far as the team is concerned it is not a useful stat in itself. Obviously a team that has high lob totals but is not scoring very much doesn't seem very efficient, but it is no worse than having a low lob total and not scoring much. I suspect it is one of those random things that cancel out and don't correlate with anything else.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:00 AM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: [email protected].

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: sto saurian brandy solder pronunciation mole removal costs large metal disc mechanic rate earthquake tracking feeling stabby communist literature tammy haynes vibe vs matrix stupid vampire polecat vs ferret muscular woman ac moore leather water stickiness objection sustained solitaire in vegas handicapped porn the sun credibility making a pass sugar light bulbs pepsi lemon condom nicknames cherry symbol frere jacque translation mother angelica pirate fifth drink multi system vcr 80s prom songs cesspool aeration chicken and a biscuit crackers big o ending analysis warhammer 40k alignment chart i lost my mail key car interior fabric glue don't step on cockroaches what does it mean to treat a witness as hostile what is the double switch in baseball endorsing a check to a third party how often to seal coat asphalt hobo stick and bag 9-5 is how many hours how many pints in a bottle of wine what is hydrostatic transmission can native americans grow beards chiltons or haynes repair manual how to cut the brakes on a car will windex kill a wasp if it wasn't for that horse what is the only letter not on the periodic table of elements? do mice eat roaches stephanie plum movie sequel u with a circle around it can you mail a flash drive in an envelope juror subpoena failure to respond queens county how to sharpen a curved blade western illinois university presidential prediction victory at sea blu ray molar root canal vs extraction bird nest in hanging basket lady and the tramp bloodhound how to remove splinter from under nail what can someone do with your account number and routing number what did the s in harry truman stand for