I am going a little contrary to the usual statistical analysis in this group, but I am going to use plain ordinary traditional statistics to show that walks make a big difference in run production. Doubleplays be dammed as well.
The Sanfrancisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves have very similar statistics this year. Batting average, power numbers, running game, times K'd etc. But the one glaring difference is that Atlanta, under the tutelage of Bobby Cox knows that they better take the freebie when it is offered. The giants for the most part would rather swing and miss at a pitch in the dirt than accept charity. I guess the Giants' hitters for the most part are just too macho to take the walk. An occasional HBP might be acceptable but a base on balls in the post Bonds era, has been just plain old taboo. Lanceford could do nothing to change this, Bam Bam seemed to have an effect in April but it has been all but reversed. Even Bonds or Ruth could probably not change the Bochyian approach of if it looks like a good pitch to hit, "swing" even if it turns into a routine DP. Lets look at the traditional numbers of 2 teams that have very similar hitting stats except for the walks. In turn the runs, rbi and OBP become different too.
Lets Look at the following:
GP AB R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI BA OBP SLG OPS BB K SB CS
BRAVES 53 1752 257 449 98 5 43 686 243 256 348 392 740 241 348 24 11
GIANTS 52 1752 215 456 98 9 40 692 199 260 325 395 720 157 348 20 13
Basicly in 52.5 games we have a walk differential of 84 and a run differential of 42. I would suggest that 84 walks alone would not necessarily result in 42 more runs, but if one is patient at the plate, and willing to take a pitch, the pitcher at sometime must come in with a resultant better pitch eventually which the batter can then drive especially with runners in scoring position. But these two teams in the offensive aggregate are similar in almost all aspects except the base on balls. The resultant stat which shows the effect is runs scored. Bam Bam, Bochy, giants overly aggressive hitters; take a lesson from Bobby Cox and start scoring some more runs for your distraught pitchers. You will win more games and make it to the playoffs. If you continue down this current macho path it will at best be a crapshoot to make it to the playoffs and it will probably be another wasted year of awesome pitching.
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