03 August 2011
In the top of 3rd inning in Wednesday's series finale with the Giants, the Diamondbacks had runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs when Willie Bloomquist was picked off at 2nd to end the inning. Right after that, the Giants strung together four straight singles to open up a 4-0 lead and put the game away. Bloomquist's baserunning error may have swung the momentum to the Giants, and more importantly, it continued a disturbing tendency of the D'Backs to give away outs on the bases. The team is noted for being aggressive on the basepaths, but do the Diamondbacks need to ease up a little? Right now, they lead the NL in Caught Stealing, Runners Picked Off, and are third in Outs Made on the Bases. Here are some of the numbers, through games of August 2 (not even including today's mistakes).
Leading the way individually with 8 are Bloomquist (11/19) and Chris Young (15/23). The only regulars stealing at over a 75% success rate are Kelly Johnson (11/13, 85%) and Gerardo Parra (7/8, 88%). A look at the NL Picked Off Standings again shows the Diamondbacks on top:
Again, Young leads the team with 6, and Bloomquist has now tied him after Wednesday's game. Finally, a look at Outs on Bases (which does not include Caught Stealing, Pick Offs, or Force Outs) has the Diamondbacks in 3rd Place.
|Team||Outs on Bases|
Leading the team here is Stephen Drew, who has made 8 outs on the bases. Right behind him is Parra with 7 and Young with 6.
Has this aggression on the bases had any positives? Well, the team is doing pretty well in Extra Bases Taken Percentage, which is when the runner goes 2 bases on a single or 3 bases on a double:
Ryan Roberts (69%) and Gerardo Parra (68%) lead the team in this category, while Kelly Johnson is at the bottom at 25% (Not counting Henry Blanco at 0%). And the Diamondbacks rank 4th in Bases Taken, which are bases taken on fly balls, wild pitches, passed balls, balks, and defensive indifference.
Putting it all together, the Diamondbacks' baserunning has been a negative. They do a pretty good job at taking the extra base, but negate that with too many outs (110) from caught stealings, pickoffs, and other outs on the bases, about 30 more than the league average. It probably hasn't cost them much in the standings, but all of those outs on the bases sure can make them frustrating to watch at times.