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Mets Game 143 Recap – 2-out RBIs a-go-go! September 14, 2015

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball, Sports.
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After yesterday afternoon’s roller coaster, the Mets are at magic number 11. That’s after a – frankly – ridiculous outing where the Mets were actually at a prior 0% win probability. Peter Moylan‘s strikeout of Kevin Plawecki in the ninth inning, 3 runs up, actually moved the win probability to 100% for the Braves, meaning (roughly) that from that state there was no expectation that the Mets would win the game. Never one to listen to statistics, Juan Lagares doubled, Curtis Granderson walked, and Daniel Murphy promptly tied the game with a home run. That’s three two-out RBIs. Later on, Kirk Nieuwenhuis scored from 3rd when Plawecki reached on an error with two outs. Lagares walked, and then Granderson walked to force in Ruben Tejada, and Murphy walked to force Plawecki home. Though Kevin didn’t get an RBI for his play Granderson and Murphy each notched a 2-out RBI.

For the Braves’ part, Andrelton Simmons and Adonis Garcia each notched an RBI with two outs as well.

There’s an underlying mythology that Mets fans hold – the Mets are killer in the clutch. They play better with 2 outs than any other team. For the most part, that’s actually true – the Mets lead the league in 2-out RBIs in 2015 with 266. What’s more, they’re fourth-best in the league on defense, with only 174 2-out RBIs allowed this year. They’re in the upper half for go-aheads with 2 outs, as well, with 47 (behind the Yankees’ 58 and nine other teams).

One side note: the Mets have 13 walks with the bases loaded – that is, run-scoring walks. Granderson leads the team with 5. Of those 13, 12 – Twelve! – came with two outs. Other teams have 194 walks with the bases loaded, and 102 of them came with two outs. After Granderson’s five, seven players (Jose Bautista, Yonder Alonso, Michael Brantley, Marcel Ozuna, Francisco Lindor, Josh Donaldson, and Logan Forsythe) are tied with 3. All three of Donaldson and Lindor’s RBI walks came with two outs; take note, there are two Blue Jays in that list. The Blue Jays have five walks with the bases loaded and two outs.

That’s right. The Blue Jays, combined, have as many of those as Curtis Granderson, and Granderson’s have all come since August 8. The Mets’ team OBP had hovered between .290 and .311 for the first few months of the season, but ballooned to .337 in August and .378 in twelve September games. The Mets have been setting the table and when you play the game right, these oportunities present themselves.

Visualizing 2-Out RBIs September 8, 2015

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball, Economics, Sports.
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In yesterday’s win against the Nationals, Yoenis Cespedes hit a crucial RBI double to score David Wright. What’s more, this came with two outs. In every game against the Nationals, the Mets’ postseason is at stake, so even though Cespedes’ hit wasn’t a go-ahead run, the insurance was key.

The Mets haven’t had a great season with two outs; they have 182, 24th in the Majors. Of those 182, 25 were hit by Lucas Duda, who isn’t even active (he’s on the disabled list). That’s quite distinct from Kansas City, which has 51 of its 2-out RBIs credit to Kendrys Morales; Duda, the Mets’ leader in 2-out RBIs, isn’t even in the top 40. I thought it would be interesting to mine whether teams with a lot of 2-out RBIs won a lot of games, and whether there was any information gained if most of those runs being batted in by one player.

2-Out RBIs

In the graph above, the number of 2-out RBIs this season is on the horizontal axis, and the number of wins this season is on the vertical axis. The size of each dot represents the number of RBIs owed to the team’s top scorer.

There’s a weak correlation between wins and 2-out RBIs – about .25. That makes sense, given that more runs lead to more wins (correlation .39 this year). There’s a weaker correlation (.16) between the number of RBIs with 2 outs from the leading scorer and wins; that’s probably due to the runs effect, to be honest.

Take a look at Kansas City in the upper right, with lots of 2-out RBIs and Kendrys Morales’ enormous dot. Then, take a look at St Louis in the upper left – Kolten Wong is there with a tiny 25-RBI dot. Similarly, Nolan Arenado and his 47 RBIs with 2 outs haven’t done much to pull Colorado up out of the southeast corner of the graph. Also interesting is the overlay of Pittsburgh (Starling Marte, 38) on Kansas City – it doesn’t get much clearer that the correlation here is small.