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Powell Chat: Too many homers?


igor67

OK so I was maintaining my calm on this issue, but I cannot do so any longer after reading all the whining about the Brewers HRs in the chat. The reason the Brewers score such a high percentage of their runs via the HR is because they hit so many!! It is simple mathematical necessity it can be no other way. Since the HR is the best offensive outcome from any at bat you always want more. Every time you hit a HR the percentage of runs you score via the HR guess what think back. It goes up. Now you can try and parse some convoluted argument about stealing more and just getting more runs that way. Here's the problem there is no such thing as a Grand steal, or a three run steal, or even a two run steal (unless you pretend you are Harry Potter and cast a spell on the defense whereby they forget they are major league players and chuck the ball around like it's t-ball). On the other hand those nice HR things come in all those wonderful flavors as a result they are much more efficient at scoring runs.

 

But wait you say you are erecting a straw man what I really want is not stolen base related runs but is base hits. Here's where the logic is really great. I grant your wish the Brewers have now hit no HRs this year only doubles. Would you score more runs this way? Of course not, how many more base hits would you need to score the same number of runs? I'd wager a reasonable guess is an equal number of singles to drive in that double. That would mean the Brewers would have to hit .302 as a team to match that production that's a full 0.13 points higher than the top hitting offense the Tigers who have the benefit of the DH(and a raise of 40 points in the team batting average). This is clearly ridiculous you can't expect a team to hit that well.

 

 

Which leads into my last point for why the HR you hit will always drive the small ball percentage way down. Imagine the Brewers going through an inning everytime that ultra efficient HR clears the bases of base runners you need to have a replacement hit or walk to get that base runner back to then hit in via a single or a double. You force yourself into the above scenario of needing to have an unrealistically high batting average to make up the ground percentage wise that the HR takes in big chomps. Unless you want to talk about historic team season leading or nearly leading the league in HRs is always going to produce a very high percentage of runs scored via the HR.

 

 

(unambigufied thread title --1992)

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I love that term, 'grand steal'. I'm still laughing. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

 

Russ started a thread recently trying to get to the bottom of this perception/problem thing. Obviously, home runs are not a problem. But possibly, the Brewers pedestrian OBP is.

 

Great post.

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

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Yeah we have too many Mench/Estrada and to a lesser extent Hardy types who just don't take enough walks. Add in the fact we aren't a high AVG team and you end up with a low OBP which is a problem.

 

I don't really think its caused by trying to hit HR's either(though maybe that has been a short term problem lately with all the slumping guys), its mostly just a poor approach at the plate by some of the guys.

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Very nice post, Igor.

 

I'm a big fan of Powell but I'm disappointed with Powell for his stance that the Brewers need to score more runs via the "small ball" route. When he offered that opinion to Uecker on air on Thursday, he said something to the effect that the Brewers score their runs with power and shouldn't try to chance that.

 

I'd love to argue against it but frankly I don't really understand the argument to begin with. Is the idea that small ball offenses can score 1 run more easily? It's simply not true if that's the idea.

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The problem is not with the home runs you hit....it is with the missed opportunities you leave on the table when you swing for home runs...

 

If home runs are a product of a good swing that happens to turn in to a home run....rather than a home run swing (going all out for a homer)...than I am ok with the home runs...

 

But when players get that uppercut in their swing, yes they hit some home runs, but miss opportunities to score runs in other ways and their home run production then is not as important as it would be if they were taking advantage of other opportunities and just hitting home runs when they came.

 

 

I am not drawing a conclusion either way with the Brewers players, but explaining that when you just look at the home runs and not at the way they are swinging the bat, you don't get a true sense if the team is missing opportunities.

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Sure, maybe the Brewers do score too high a percentage of their runs via the homer, but the solution isn't less homers, its more 2 run homers!

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"88.6% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot" Todd Snider

 

-Posted by the fan formerly known as X ellence. David Stearns has brought me back..

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I think the argument is that the Brewers cannot manufacture a run when they need one. If they get a runner on, the next batter will try to advance him around the bases by aiming for the fences, rather than bunting, sacrificing, hitting to the right side, sac flying, or whatever "small ball" ways it takes to get him around the bases.
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Small ball is a self-defeating tactic, though. If you play for one run, that's all you're going to get.

 

I can understand wanting to maybe do some of that stuff when it's late and the tying/go-ahead run is on base with a poor hitter up, but any other time and they're shooting themselves in the foot. If you look at small-ball, look how much work it takes to scratch out a run. You need perfect execution, and that's hard to pull off. I'd much rather just see them get a guy on (this is really the issue) and swing for two runs.

 

The Brewers have gotten this far in part because they hit so many bombs. It's what they're built to do. There aren't many guys on the team that should have to bunt - they're not going to ask Fielder, Braun, Hart, Hardy, Jenkins, Mench, or Hall to bunt, ever, and probably not Estrada, either.

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Edit: disregard my earlier post, thats what I get from believing something i hear on WFAN.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"88.6% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot" Todd Snider

 

-Posted by the fan formerly known as X ellence. David Stearns has brought me back..

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If home runs are a product of a good swing that happens to turn in to a home run....rather than a home run swing (going all out for a homer)...than I am ok with the home runs...

 

But when players get that uppercut in their swing, yes they hit some home runs, but miss opportunities to score runs in other ways and their home run production then is not as important as it would be if they were taking advantage of other opportunities and just hitting home runs when they came.

 

That is the thing, most of the guys are natural home run hitters. They don't hit a lot of them because they are trying to, but rather they hit a lot because they hit the ball high and far naturally. When you look at guys like Braun, Hart and Fielder, guys who hit a lot of homers to left center to right center field, they don't have to try to pull everything to homer. Hall has great opposite field power, too, tho he can get pull happy.

 

Per Uecker, JJ Hardy talked about getting his swing back to where it was earlier this year, that he had developed a bit of an uppercut, but he's the exception and not the rule.

 

The problem at the moment (minus tonight, of course) is that while Braun has been hitting the ball all over the park, he hasn't had a lot of guys on in front of him with Hart slumping and Hardy beeing a lower OBP guy.

 

I think the Brewers would be better off finding a higher OBP guy to hit second instead of blaming it on hitting too many home runs.

Chris

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"I guess underrated pitchers with bad goatees are the new market inefficiency." -- SRB

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Again we get to what manufacturing run now means. Bill was beyond gleeful that the Brewers "manufactured" runs tonight. You know by killing the ball. But only one home run, which apparently means they played "small ball". I swear most of this comes from fans who constantly hear Bill complain about that they start repeating all over the place.
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I can understand wanting to maybe do some of that stuff when it's late and the tying/go-ahead run is on base with a poor hitter up

 

 

I think the problem that most folks have is that we've seen this situation A LOT lately and the results haven't been acceptable.

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Do you know where the count stands when pitchers are removed? It's got to be less than 10.
In most cases the pitcher is the only hitter you would want to sacrafice.

I really don't think most of the players are trying to hit homers. The only hitter I have seen swinging out of his shoes is Fielder.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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Brian Anderson said Skalen told him last night prior to the game you will really like our approach tonight. That to me sounds like the coaches really emphasized you need to move the runners, go where the pitch is pitched.

 

Small ball isn't a negative. When fans get mad at Bill Hall trying to pull an outside pitch but when he goes with the pitch that's what everyone wants. Hit the screen with 2 strikes! They've been preaching that all year and a young team needs constant reminding. Let's see how long it will be til the next reminding happens.

 

Prince gets credit for using the whole field

Jenkins is said to be on the ball when he goes to left

Hart's HR up the middle last night was perfect

JJ is so much more productive when he goes to right.

 

When Yost says we have too many easy fly outs that says alot. Put the ball in play and make them make a play.

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I'm not saying that small ball is a negative. On the contrary I think it is very useful to be able to get sac flies with runners on third. Which is one thing perhaps to be taken out of the stats. You would think with all the fly balls they hit they should have more sac flies, but they only rank tied for 19th-24th with 27. The research I know of supports that sac flies largely just happen without being a conscious thing. In which case I think that number should be a lot higher. I like stolen bases too. It's telling I think that we've been caught 23 times which is higher than the National league average yet our steal total is so low, and we have 3 very good base stealers in Braun, Hart, and Weeks. The story this tells me is 1) Weeks injury and drop in effectiveness hurt this aspect and 2) we have a lot of guys doing things they shouldn't be on the base paths and end up getting picked off or thrown out. Our big 3 base stealers account for less than 1/3 of the caught stealings, but almost 2/3 of our steals.
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JJ is so much more productive when he goes to right.

 

I have to very strongly disagree with this statement. JJ is a pretty big pull hitter, and one of the reasons he struggled so much in the beginning of his rookie year was that he kept trying to go the other way and would only poke the ball to the right side pretty harmlessly. However, when he's being aggressive and willing to pull the ball, he can be pretty darn good (see the beginning of this year).

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"You know by killing the ball." / "you need to move the runners, go where the pitch is pitched"

 

These aren't mutually exclusive. And I don't see that going where the ball is pitched necessarily means the team is smallballing.

 

"On the contrary I think it is very useful to be able to get sac flies with runners on third."

 

What you have to do is put the ball in play in a way that hopefully doesn't result in an out, yet leaves open the possibility of driving in a run via the sac fly.

 

Good point about the non-base stealers trying to steal, igor67. Leave that stuff for the guys who are good at it.

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

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Bill was beyond gleeful that the Brewers "manufactured" runs tonight. You know by killing the ball. But only one home run, which apparently means they played "small ball". I swear most of this comes from fans who constantly hear Bill complain about that they start repeating all over the place.

 

I think it's an easy trap to fall into. There is so much emphasis placed on things like sacrifice bunts and grounders to the right side that move runners. It goes back to the fallacy that the White Sox won a World Series by playing smallball, which couldn't be further from the truth if you said the White Sox won the World Series because of an MVP season from Juan Uribe. I think it was, in part, because no one could figure out how they traded Carlos Lee for a slap hitter and seemed to make a better team out of it.

 

Anyway, I've found myself appreciating the innings where the Brewers "grind" out runs by not hitting any home runs. Why? Maybe because I've had it planted in my head that the Brewers hit too many home runs. And they certainly weren't playing much "smallball" last night, at least not the way I see "smallball" playing out.

 

They were pretty much raking the ball all over the place last night. Keep it up, boys. Call it what you want, but I'll take it by any name. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

Wearing my heart on my sleeve since birth. Hopefully, it's my only crime.

 

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I sort of agree with Powell -- but I think his argument is not expressed very well.

 

I think fans are sick of guys like Mench, Jenks, Weeks, Hall, Hardy, and Estrada having crappy useless ABs -- and then watching guys like Braun and Fielder launch balls out of Wisconsin.

 

That extra inning AB by Estrada on Monday is probably a good illustration of the fans frustrations -- Estrada doesn't need to hit the ball out of the park -- all he needs to do is lift a flyball into the OF and then the Brewers probably win. I think fans have a perception that we can't buy a single when we need it.

 

I don't think any fan wants to see any sort of change out of Braun or Fielder -- but maybe fans would want to trade some of the SLG points that guys like Jenks/Mench/Hardy rack up, traded for some more timely OBP points. I think the Brewers would have won some more games if some our High SLG/Low OBP guys were flipped around.

 

As far as base-stealing goes -- outside of guys like Hart taking low-hanging fruit, I am very OK with infrequent steal attempts. I would be very pissed off if guys started running with Braun/Fielder at the plate. I still have the horror that was the Brady Clark steal attempt ingrained in my mind, and any time we do "aggressive baserunning" like the Mench/Fielder double steal we end up looking like a little league team.

 

As far as bunting. I am not real excited about the team bunting more. I do think Weeks might get more productive ABs by bunting more, and if nothing else, forcing the D to adjust a little bit. Sometimes I think Yost falls into the trap of thinking that a good hitting pitcher is a good hitter, when in reality they are still sub-Counsell. I'd be OK with pitchers bunting in just about every situation with runners on.

 

I think the Brewers are a good illustration overall that team OPS that is weighted more to the SLG side, may have problems scoring enough runs.

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I agree that I'd like to see more runs via non-HRs, but that doesn't mean I want the HR totals to go down. Nor do I want "smallball" of giving away outs or chancing CS. I want more games like last night where everyone is poking singles and doubles all over the field. It takes more effort to score a run this way, but it also makes the pitcher work harder. Getting 3 singles in an inning and having the pitcher spend the entire time in the stretch will make him wear out faster than hitting a solo shot.

 

Plus, if you keep putting men on those solo shots start becoming 2 and 3 run "daggers". I have a problem with OBP, not the HR total.

The poster previously known as Robin19, now @RFCoder

EA Sports...It's in the game...until we arbitrarily decide to shut off the server.

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I think FTJ said it right. Often the argument doesn't seem to be expressed very well. Last night, the Brewers hit the ball as they should, and it wasn't smallball.

 

If a team hits like the Brewers did last night, the homers will happen, and I'd bet on them happening in higher numbers than if players were actually swinging for them.

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

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Getting to the Cards bullpen early with a double dip today is huge.

 

As far as JJ and his power surge I agree with you. He is a much better hitter this year since he is pulling the ball, but....lately they are throwing to him outside and as long as he pops those up they will keep on doing it. Rip a few to RF and they will come back inside then turn on the ball. JJ put one into the gift HR picnic area this year, he can stroke it that way. He's been on 18 HR;'s for over a month now (June 25) and I think his approach the last two games will get him more pitches to pull.

 

How many times do you hear players say you hit HR's when you aren't trying. Too many are trying too hard imo. Go with the outside pitches and you will get one's to pull. We make too many outs on bad pitches.

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Before we get too gleeful after last night, let's remember who they were facing. Mike Maroth is horrible and the guys that followed him are not much better. Good approaches against guys like that are going to get rewarded but against good pitching sometimes the right approach doesn't work right away. That's where being patient comes in.

 

Yes I'm glad Skaalen appeared to get them to follow his direction but where has this been the last month?

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