By: Holly Horning
If you’ve been reading Totally Tigers regularly, you know we are charting a number of categories suggested by fellow readers as well as categories that have concerned us over the years. With the conclusion of Wednesday’s 2-game series, let’s see how June compares with the stats from May that help explain some of the patterns about the Tigers’ performance.
While some of these can be interpreted in more than one way, they generally give an idea of the frequency and patterns. And you know how I feel about patterns.
This is a compilation of issues that shouldn’t be looked at solely by statistical measures. It’s not as simple as black and white or the stats you see lined up neatly in columns online. Some of them are open to interpretation. Some of the stats need to be incorporated into the whole and not seen only on their own.
But what can be said about these stats is that they aren’t covered by the beat writers. They’re not highlighted as concerns or explanations about why the team is performing as it does. But I’ll bet you that the powers that be in the Front Office are keeping track of them.
Wherever possible, rankings within MLB have been included. If you don’t see them, they don’t exist formally. But maybe they should.
In June, RISP was the best month yet, rising from 20% to almost 30% April was 25%. The average number of runners in scoring position left on base was 9 per game.
In May, they were scoring fewer runs, generally bringing in 3 runners per game. In June, the runs scored were all over the board in contrast. While most of the wins had 2-3 runs per game, there were also a significant number of games that had either 4 or 7 runs apiece.
Six of their 11 losses for the month were games in which they were unable to push a single runner on 2nd and 3rd across the plate.
The overall LOB averages 8 runners per game. In May, most often seen was between 5-8 runners per game. In June, 6-10 runners per game which was an increase.
The team dropped their strikeout numbers from last month also. From April’s 204 to May’s 238 and now June’s 218. They also improved from 8th worst to 11th worst in MLB. They are striking out just barely over 8 times per game on average which is an improvement, albeit a microscopic one. In 1/3rd of their games in May, they struck out 10 times or more in each game. In June, yet another improvement to only 1/4th of their games with 10 or more strikeouts.
This is a category that is highly interpretive but the main purpose is to show the habits and possible patterns of the manager. It is filled with the concerns that the majority of fans have expressed since the end of 2014.
Leaves starter in too long – 9 (7 losses, 2 wins)
Another improvement since May’s 12 opportunities for 2 wins, 10 losses. Based upon starters who give up 4+ runs and create a minimum of a 4-run gap differential in a game considered to significantly decrease the odds of a comeback. Also considered is which inning and a situation where the pitcher gives up a minimum of 3 straight hits. Most importantly, the potential for a winnable game is considered as well and the Tigers’ offensive performance is taken into account.
Leaves reliever in too long – 8 (7 losses, 1 win)
More opportunities with increases in both wins and losses from May’s 6 losses. Based upon relievers who gave up 3+ runs and the criteria listed above for starters.
Bases loaded late in game, with a stronger batter not inserted to pinch hit and no runs scored.
In April, it happened 2 times. In May, just once. And in June, perfection! No wrong moves made.
Giving a hot player the day off.
Based solely upon batting stats, games in which the team struggled to produce more than 2 runs and the replacement player failed to produce. May’s number matched April’s – 3. June’s showed an increase to 5. But do consider that injuries and the typical cooling off period of early season can impact this figure.
“That’s baseball!” and “We’re a better team than that.”
Based solely upon newspaper reports, not radio or tv. After last month’s zero total, it was uttered 3 times, all after each game in the sweep by Cleveland.
Stolen bases – 14 ( a gain of 4 from May and 8 from April)
From last month’s ranking of 22nd to June’s improvement to 13th best. Caught stealing only 3 times (half of May’s number) and an improvement in their success rate from 62% to 83%.
Pick offs – 4 ( double the number from both April and May)
Failure (stopped short) to take expected base – 6
One less than both of April’s and May’s totals. Based upon speed of runner, opponent’s arm, location, type of hit and speed of hit ball.
Failed (cut down) attempt to take extra base – 5
One more than May but 4 fewer than April. Does not include attempts to steal a base. Based up the criteria listed immediately above.
Hit into double plays – 24
An increase from the19 seen in both April and May. The team moved to 6th place in most GIDP yet still 3 under the AL average.
The Tigers were better in taking bases. Getting better but still bad. In April, they gained 6 bases but lost 19. In May, they gained 10 but still lost 19. In June, they gained 14 bases but lost 15.
Tagged out at home – 3
Slightly better than May’s total of 4. April had 1.
Bases left loaded at the end of the inning – 14
An increase of 2 from May. April had 12. Is it better to have more runners on-base but unable to score? It’s a good question.
There were 82 opportunities given to the relievers in May. A whopping 25 more than May. Out of those 82, 60 were in situations where no runners were inherited. Out of those 60, 3 were due to HRs having cleared the bases. In May, that figure was 9. The other 57 were due to relievers starting the new inning. The majority of opportunities (73%) involved not having runners on base when the bullpen entered.
One inherited runner was seen 8 times (increase of 1). Two inherited runners, 10 times (decrease of 1). And 3 inherited runners were seen 4 times (decrease of 1). A total of 22 inherited runner opportunities (decrease of 1).
# runners/ # scored = times
1/0 = 7 times (+3)
1/1 = 1 times (-3)
2/0 = 4 times (unchanged)
2/1 = 4 times (+2)
2/2 = 2 times (-3)
3/0 = 2 times (+1)
3/1 = 1 time (-1)
3/2 = 1 time (unchanged)
3/3 = 0 times (0-1)
Fielder collisions – unchanged from May with 2 (1 less than April)
Shuts Outs – 2 (same as April and May)
Games with 2 or Fewer Runs – 4 (2 less than May and 1 less than April)
Injuries: 8.5 (same as May)
Greene, VerHagen, Saupold, Maybin (2x), VMart, JD, Moya, Horning
May Holdovers – 2.5
Due to opponent – 0
Due to unresolved physical issue – 3
Unnecessary risk – 1
Stuff happens – 4.5
Shut out from scoring – 2 games (same as April and May)
Games with 2 or fewer runs scored – 4 (2 less than May and 1 less than April)
Individual games record:
Wins – 16 (5 better than May)
Losses – 11 (6 fewer than May)
Wins – 5 (2 more than May)
Win Sweeps – 3 (2 more than May with 1 being a 2-game set)
Losses – 3 (3 fewer than May)
Loss Sweeps – 1 (1 less than May)
Ties – 0 (same as May)
A much better report than the one for May! Next month, July’s totals will be added to the mix for comparison. It will continue to give us a clearer picture of the issues, improvements and lingering concerns about what is helping or hurting the team.