Game 92 Live Blog: Pirates vs Brewers

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Matthew

    Well, look at who they’ve been sending:

    McCutchen, who is 4-for-6. We know he’s better than that (75% MLB career, 75% in minors).

    Tabata, who is 3-for-6. We know he’s probably better than that (69% MLB career, 75% in minors).

    Presley, who is 3-for-6. He’s probably not much better than that (65% MLB career, 66% in minors), but it’s not the equivalent of sending Barajas, either.

    Those three players account for 18 of our (as of now) 21 attempts. The other three attempts are a success for Jones and failures for Barmes and Correia (he was picked off 2nd base by Kershaw).

    So while they’re going crazy with the attempts, it’s not a terrible idea to send the guys that they’re sending.

  • maguro

    Apparently it’s conventional baseball wisdom that you need to try to steal more bases when your hitters are slumping, I Heard Blass mumbling about this the other day: “The Pirates need to be more aggressive than normal on the bases right now. If guys are swinging the bats well and getting hits, you don’t want to run into a bunch of outs on the bases. But when the hits are hard to come by…” Of course, he didn’t finish the sentence because it doesn’t make any sense – When hits are hard to come by, you want to run into a bunch of outs on the bases? No! Of course not, but that’s kind of where his train of thought led him.

    • azibuck

      “When hits are hard to come by, you want to run into a bunch of outs on
      the bases? No! Of course not, but that’s kind of where his train of
      thought led him.”

      Yeah, no it didn’t.  It would have let him to, “you want to take all the extra bases you can.”  They aren’t *planning* to be caught, right?  You can argue that statistically that the success rate needs to be over 80% for stealing bases to be worthwhile, but that removes game context.

      Stealing bases is a viable, aggressive strategy within the game of baseball.  The issue is their lack of success, not the fact that they’re ever trying. 

      And as for the OP, SSS.  Like, crazy SSS.  And how about something less superficial than attempts/steals?  What pitches are they stealing on?  What counts?

      • azibuck

        Matt, I know you admitted SSS, and re-reading my post I sound more confrontational than I meant.  I’m *asking* for something with more depth, but then, I’m pro-SB and moreso HnR.  I think there’s a reason some base stealers have a wildly high success rate, and it’s more than just speed or stealing in meaningless game situations.  Utley, Werth, Weeks, and even guys that run a lot (or did) like Beltran and Victorino are successful guys.  Even a guy like Gardner on the Yankees, who CAN stand around waiting for someone to knock him in, is effective on the bases.  Technique, pitcher, catcher, and pitch selection all go into it.

      • maguro

        Yeah, stealing bases is a viable strategy in the right circumstances – I’m not questioning that or suggesting that that the ideal number of SB attempts is 0.

        However, the Pirates are clearly overdoing it, trying to steal in situations where it isn’t appropriate or likely to succeeed. For instance, with two outs, runners on first and second, McCutchen at the plate and Yadier Molina catching. It is just stupid to try to steal in a situation like that.

        The fact is, none of our “fast guys” is a particularly good base stealer, as evidenced by the percentages posted above. They need to pick their spots carefully, not run as a default strategy, as they appear to be doing right now.

  • Pete Swayze Asplundh

    my pirates team are not the worst team at all