As an organization, the St. Louis Cardinals embrace statistical analysis. But when you live by the numbers, sometimes you die by them—or at least by the trends they reveal.
One of the biggest advantages in this seemingly classic, extremely even World Series is that only one of the two teams is really strong in the field—and that’s not the one that was fifth in the Majors in fielding percentage.
These Cardinals aren’t nearly as solid defensively as their old-school numbers say they are, and you only had to watch two innings of Game 1 to see that flaw revealed.
...Shortstop Pete Kozma—who along with catcher Yadier Molina and Beltran, is among the Cards’ top fielders—made two quick errors that helped bury Wainwright. A seventh-inning throwing error by third baseman David Freese kept that inning alive long enough for David Ortiz to blast a two-run homer, and there were at least a couple of other moments—when Wainwright and Molina allowed a popup by Stephen Drew to fall in between them, and a run-scoring grounder by Dustin Pedroia that skipped past Freese on an in-between hop—that illustrated the point that John Dewan, the founder of the Chicago-based “Baseball Info Solutions,” had made before the game.
While the Cardinals’ fielders weren’t often charged with errors during the regular season, they allowed more than their share of balls to fall into gaps and they left too many double plays unturned. And never forget, all pitchers like their double plays turned.
The Red Sox—behind their steady shortstop, Drew, and the outfield tandem of Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino—have been solid in the field since April. They finished the regular season with 24 defensive runs saved, according to Dewan’s metrics, compared to a minus-39 for the Cards.
...It was a case of the Red Sox making all the plays they were supposed to, plus one or two more. That’s what good defensive teams do, and the Sox have been one all season.
Posted: October 24, 2013 at 04:47 AM | 16 comment(s)
Login to Bookmark