[quote=“Steven Ellis”]One of the team goals the high school pitching staff I’m working with is to control the running game better. Last season, the varsity pitchers on my staff gave up 30 stolen bases on 34 attempts. This means opposing teams have a 88% success rate against us. While our catcher is also involved, I believe our pitchers can do much better.
Here’s 3 things we’re going to work on to control the running game - what else would you add? Any drills you like?
Vary our hold times better in the set position.
Implement a quicker, modified slide step to get our times to the plate 1.3 secs or less.
Develop faster footwork and a shorter arm action on picks.
What else do you guys got for me?[/quote]
As always, when I see questions like this one, my perspective as the SK/Statistician comes out. I have absolutely no doubt that your team would benefit from your pitchers doing a better job of controlling the running game. But heck, every team could say that.
What interests me more, is what you’re basing your concern over. An 88% success rate is pretty bad, but knowing what I know about HS scoring and stats, I’m gonna take a wild guess that your numbers might need a bit more scrutiny.
There are few things in the scoring of HSB that give more problems than runners advancing on a legal pitch. The reason is, it can happen in 3 different ways. A SB, a PB, or a WP, and to be honest, it’s a pretty rare HSB SK who really knows and understand the scoring rules. But, there’s a way to mitigate whatever scoring problems that might arise.
Just make sure you look at all advances to keep things in perspective. While simply counting WPs and PS won’t give the total number of runners moving up like a SB does, it will still give a more accurate idea about what’s happening because it takes the judgment out of it. Take a look at http://www.infosports.com/scorekeeper/images/pitsb.pdf to get an idea about what I’m talking about.
The reason I’m mentioning this, is because I know how badly HS scorers can screw up this particular call, so it may be possible that what looks like a poor success rate at throwing out runners, is really something that should have been scored entirely different. I may be wrong, but I have a sneaky suspicion that that’s what’s happening with your team. The reason is, if a coach who’s at all scouting his opponents finds out the other team is only getting out 12% of all runners attempting steals, there’s no way there’d only be 34 attempts. Heck, a wild man like our coach who loves to run saw that, my guess is there’d be at least 10 SBA’s in a game. We average 120 SBAs a season, and I assure you we don’t play many teams with only a 12% success rate.
Now its entirely possible I’m completely off base, your scorer’s perfect, and the fault rests entirely with your pitchers. But then again, what do you have to lose by investigating what’s going on just a bit more, since as I said, every team could stand to improve how their pitchers control the running game.
If possible, you might want to look at who it is stealing these bases too. It may well be that the only players attempting steals are the better and faster base runners, When that happens, its almost impossible to do much to control them without really having it affect the ability of the pitchers to get the batter out.