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Crew relies too much on HR? Nope.

Brewer Fanatic Contributor

Okay, I was watching the game last night (with the sound on, yes) and for about the 4th time in the last 2 weeks, I heard Schroeder mention (and Anderson agree) that the Brewers rely way too much on the long ball to score runs. 47% of the Brewers runs come via the long ball, and the thought is that they're not capable of manufacturing a run when necessary.


So I decided to do what I fully understand is not what one would call a scientific study. I've seen run distribution charts and the like, and my thought was that if the Brewers rely too much on the longball, their run distribution would show a curve towards the extreme ends.


Granted, these categories were arbitrarily decided on by me, but I think they paint a pretty decent picture.


0 to 1 runs -- 11 times

2 to 3 runs -- 38 times

4 to 5 runs -- 31 times

6 to 7 runs -- 26 times

8 or more runs -- 17 times


In 123 games, the Brewers have scored 582 runs, with 170 homeruns. The run differential is actually -19, yet they're still 3 games OVER .500.


Now, since those charts mean nothing without context, I chose a team with a similar run total, the Mets. They've scored 583 runs, in one less game, with the net being a very close match for runs per game. The difference being, the Mets have hit only 131 homeruns.


0-1 runs -- 14 times

2-3 runs -- 36 times

4-5 runs -- 24 times

6-7 runs -- 26 times

8+ runs -- 22 times


I would expect a team that relies more on "small ball" and stolen bases would score more towards the middle of the chart, IF the thinking is that an offense that does such is considered to be "more consistent".


These charts (using my arbitrary categories of course) show the exact opposite, that the Mets score at the extreme ranges (0 or 1 runs, when you almost always lose, and 8+ runs, when you almost always win) a fair amount more than the Brewers who steal fewer bases and hit more homeruns.


I know that nothing that Bill Schroeder says should be taken seriously, but it did provide me the inspiration to see if anything about his blathering was close to true.


In short, (and I think stats bear this out season after season) it doesn't matter how you score, it only matters that you score.

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I don't think we rely too much on HR's, I just think our OBP is too low which may or may not be from swinging for the fences too much. Seems to be more from swinging at too many pitches early in the count than anything else though.


Most baseball cliches like this aren't fact so it doesn't surprise me. Same can be said of teams relying on HR's not doing well in the playoffs, BP did a big study on that and found that HR heavy teams historically do better in the playoffs because the HR gains value in low run scoring environments.

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The Brewers have gone 85 innings since the last time they scored a run without the help of an extra base hit. I have no idea how that relates to what's normal, but it seems like a really long time. In no way am I in favor of any form of small ball, that's not what I'm saying. They could create a whole lot more runs just by walking and getting some guys to raise the batting average a little bit. 85 innings since a simple walk/walk/single inning or a single/walk/single inning just seems a bit long to me, but who knows.


I'm not sure about your example. Is there any proof that a team that hits more home runs would have a run distribution chart on the extremes? It's an interesting theory, but we don't know if that's true or not.

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I'm not sure about your example. Is there any proof that a team that hits more home runs would have a run distribution chart on the extremes? It's an interesting theory, but we don't know if that's true or not.


I'm not trying to say that a HR hitting team would be on the extreme ends, but that was more or less what B. Schroeder was alluding too. (Though not in so many words). I think that it's basically a theory held by people that favor the "small ball" approach to scoring runs. I agree that simply comparing 2 teams is in no way a truth-telling study, but it does open the door up for discussion. I think the fact that despite the Brewers low OBP they're near the top of the league in runs scored shows that the HR prowess of the team is why they're up there in scored runs.

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