Pittsburgh Pirates base running: Narrative vs. Numbers

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Jul 24, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starlfing Marte (6) celebrates with teammates after defeating the Washington Nationals at PNC Park. The Pirates won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates Totals:

  • Outfield: 1.1 BsR
  • Outfield: 1.1 BsR
  • First Base: -0.1 BsR
  • Second Base: 2.3 BsR
  • Third Base: 2.6 BsR
  • Short Stop: 2.1 BsR
  • Catcher: -0.7 BsR
    • 1.21 BsR (Slightly above league average)

As a team, the Pirates total BsR is 1.21, which is a bit above the league average of zero. This is mostly skewed up because of Polanco’s incredible base-running and Neil Walker’s surprisingly decent base-running.

However, this basically shows that despite some of the head-scratching moments the Pirates have had this season, they are still on-par with the rest of the league. They are not as awful as they appear sometimes, but as a team haven’t gone beyond and won a game with their base-running either much either.

Because the bad moments tend to stick with you more, it’s really easy to think of the Pirates as an awful base-running team, which has kind of been their reputation this season, but the data doesn’t really back that up. The Pirates aren’t a great base-running team, but they are not awful either. It’s important to not let narrative get in the way of raw numbers and while stats obviously aren’t everything, they are a good place to start. The Pirates may not pass the traditional eye test, but the numbers do not lie. Baseball is still a numbers game at its core, otherwise why would they keep track of something like BsR?

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