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Stolen Bases Newsbeat

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

‘All-in’ Dodgers stealing at will in October

The Dodgers, simply put, are gambling in such a way that the odds are hugely in their favor every time they attempt a steal. Through eight postseason games, the Dodgers are 11-for-11 on stolen-base attempts, including six in two National League Championship Series games. They’re the first team to steal multiple bases in three consecutive postseason games since 1999.

It’s not just one player, either. Those 11 steals have come via five Dodgers. As a team, they’re capitalizing on opposing pitchers by getting elite jumps. Against Atlanta, they’ve taken advantage of slower pop times from catcher Travis d’Arnaud.

With those statistical advantages tilted in their favor, the philosophy is more or less the same as it was for Roberts when he took off for second base at Fenway Park 17 years ago.

“In the postseason, where things are more magnified, you just can’t be afraid to fail,” Roberts said. “Careful, in the postseason, doesn’t play. … You’ve got to be all in.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:53 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, stolen bases

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Theft Falls To Historic Lows

The mortal wounds struck to stolen bases weren’t caused by a decline in skills, as the league, as a whole, is better than ever in terms of successfully stealing. In fact, the 75.6% success rate in 2021 was the second-highest mark since 1937 – the highest was 75.2%, all the way back in 2020. No, it’s a lack of trying that’s at the root of the stolen base dying.

Since 1920 (the year that failed attempts started being tracked every season), major league baseball has averaged less than two stolen base attempts per 100 plate appearances in 52 of 102 seasons. Of those 52, 42 came over the 48 years between 1926 and 1973 (with the other six seasons only barely breaking the two-attempt threshold) – a period I’m confident in affectionately referring to as the “dead bag” era.

Since this unofficial era ended in 1973, only ten seasons have averaged fewer than two attempts per 100 PA, and seven of them have come since 2015, with 2013 (2.00) and 2014 (2.07) only barely crossing the mark. But after decreasing in every year except 2020, the rate of attempts fell to new depths in 2021 – 1.60 attempts per 100 PA is the lowest rate since 1964 and 2898 attempts were over 200 fewer than in 2019 and over 500 fewer than in 2018.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 14, 2021 at 10:46 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: stolen bases

 

 

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