If you saw the way the Twins vs. Mariners game ended on Saturday night, it was the epitome of the “LITTLE” things in baseball. Let’s set the stage:
- Bottom of the 9th inning, Mariners down 6–5, with runners on 1st and 3rd, and one out.
- Without a ball being put into play, the Twins get the final two outs of the game, and win it. Your standard 2–4–5–6 double play (again, without a ball in play).
- The play involved a catcher block, two great defensive plays, and two baserunning blunders. MLB.com has the video.
After Kyle Seager gets hung up between 1st and 2nd base, the Twins throw to 3rd to gun down Shawn O’MalleyAfter a quick tag and spinning throw from 3B Eduardo Nunez, Kyle Seager is thrown out trying to advance to second
Historically, a team in the Mariners’ situation prior to that game-ending play has a 46 percent chance of winning the game. That 46 percent win probability became zero in just one play. That’s how BIG the “little things” can be.
Last week, we published this post about Defensive Giveaways. Today, we’ll focus on baserunning.
Baserunning Giveaways fall into three buckets:
- Runner Caught Stealing
- Runner Picked Off
- Other Baserunning Mistakes (this one includes plays like the Mariners debacle from Saturday night. It’s any type of blunder on the bases that gives a free out to the opponent or prevents a runner from advancing when they should have)
Here’s the leaderboard through Sunday, sorted best to worst:
*Run Impact is based on the change in run expectancy. @Fangraphs does a nice job of explaining here if you’d like more information.
Here it is in graph format:
And, here are the individual baserunners who have been most generous to their opponents so far this season:
To be fair, most of the players listed above are aggressive baserunners, who help their teams by stealing bases and taking extra bases. We’re merely pointing out the giveaways here.
In terms of the “Other Mistakes” column, the leader in that department is Yasiel Puig, with five. We take notes on those plays, so here they are just to give you an idea:
Ellis’ perfect Sacrifice Bunt goes to waste as Puig holds his ground
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