Phatferd wrote:Here are 3 situations:
1) 2nd and 3rd 0 outs. Grounder to 2nd for 1 out. 1 run, runner to 3rd. Next batter sac fly to CF. 2 runs score...third out is mute for this arguments sake. (this is using outs not hits. A hit would only make this more ideal)
2) 2nd and 3rd 0 outs. Walk. Bases loaded. Groundball to 2nd double play 1 run scores. Next batter flys out. Inning over 1 run.
3) 2nd and 3rd 0 outs. Grounder to 2nd throws home then to first. Next batter flys out to CF. O runs.
I am using the grounder to 2nd and flyout to CF to show what would happen with the exact same situations occured to show my point and to keep the test accurate to each other.
You've got a point alright, but a hat will cover it.
First off, your hypothetical is missing one piece of information... what is the score and what is the inning. Basicially, are we:
A. Playing for one run.
B. Playing for more than one run.
Let's look at Scenario B first, which should, by the book, be applied to pretty much every situation before the 8th, if not 9th inning.
With a runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs in 2004, teams averaged 2.1343 runs from that point on until the end of the inning. Now we factor in your scenarios. I am going to make a change to the scenarios because you have unfairly rigged the deck in your favor. I am only going to have the batter walk or the batter ground out to second. What will happen in the rest of the inning will already be factored in by what happened on average in those situations during the 2004 season.
1. Ground out to second. Man on third scores, man on second to third. One run on the board, runner on third with one out averages 0.9722 runs for the rest of the inning. 1 + .9722 - 2.1314 = -0.1592 Runs on Average.
2. Batter walks. Bases loaded, no outs averages 2.2548 runs for the rest of the inning. 2.2548 - 2.1314 = +0.1234 Runs on Average
In the case you have just described, based on the entire 2004 season, on average, that ground out instead of a walk just cost your team 0.2826 runs. And again, please keep in mind that the expected runs with the bases loaded and no outs already factors in the percentage of double plays turned in that specific situation last season and how those double plays affected run production.
Now, the other scenario, if the game is in the ninth inning, and the team at the plate either needs a run to tie or a run to win. Teams were able to score a single run with runners on second and third with no outs 89.0% of the time.
1. Batter grounds out to second, runner on third scores, runner on second is irrelevant, mission accomplished.
2. Batter walks. Bases loaded, no outs. New odds of scoring a run are 85.2%. 85.2 - 89.0 = -3.8%.
So if this situation occurs in the ninth inning when only one run is the goal, then the walk hurts your team's chances of scoring a run by 3.8%. But this really only applies to the ninth inning. Playing for a single run before that doesn't help your team, because the other team still has at bats to come and can still score more runs. You better you chances of winning even in the eight inning by playing for the big inning.
So to answer your question, in the vast majority of hypothetical situations, the walk does help your team. And the first scenario is pretty generous in having the runner on second take third. The man on third may be running on contact (but with no outs that would take a fairly agressive manager), but the runner on second probably isn't and won't have as big a jump).