Been pretty bizzy trying to get my new scoring program working, and in doing that I’ve been scoring lots of games, or at least portions of games, testing various things to make sure they’re doing exactly what I want them to do, one of which is “disruptions”.
A couple years back I began tracking runners’ disruptions. A disruptive thing they could do was draw a throw, get picked, attempt a steal, or actually steal a base. I really love the metric, but also wanted to add just a little something more to it. Since I’m looking at disruptions, I wanted to additionally track the instances where the runner caused the pitcher not to just throw, but also to actually disrupt his primary job of throwing a pitch to the batter.
For example, how many times in a HS game is there a runner on 2nd and the pitcher “wheels” but never throws, or how about the dreaded “buzzby”? Also, how many times has a runner caused a pitcher to “step off”? Well, to me those are disruptions as well, and I believe a runner should be given credit for them. After all, he’s caused the pitcher to change his game plan, and that’s usually a good thing for the offense. Anyhoo, I wanted to add the capability to track it while I was building this new program. I added the throws by simply clicking on the runner, and have added the “fakes” by right clicking on the runner.
But that’s not the reason I’m making this post. The reason for that is, I’m noticing something I’ve never took a lot of notice of before. ML teams don’t appear to make nearly as many throws or “fakes” as HS teams make. I’ve done about 25 games this past month, and have been amazed at just how few times ML pitchers take some kind of overt action because of a runner. Yeah, they’ll look over a lot, but really its seldom been a lot more than that.
That’s gotten me to think that perhaps it’s a reason lower level pitchers seem to have so much trouble when they’re in the stretch. Rather than concentrating on what they’re supposed to be doin’, making a good pitch to the batter, they’re thinking about something else. Not that they shouldn’t be thinking about the runners, but there should be some kind of proportion of thought.
Anyhoo, that’s just something I was thinking about, and wondered if anyone else had thoughts about it.