Originally Posted by blandman
And going a little further, what you said about sacrificing...the numbers overwhelmingly show that sacrificing an out leads to less overall runs scored. Sure, there are instances where it makes sense to do it (like late in a game for a go ahead run), but there is solid, irrefutable statistics that show giving up outs leads to less runs scored in the long run.
This is where stats are a bit to the detriment of the game. Runs are what count, and in a close/late situation, it's smarter to go for one or two more likely runs than to expect one to appear based on normal at-bats/percentages without strategy. Actions of the players and indirectly, the manager are what drive the game results, not raw percentages.
Yet we all have our preferences. I loved Earl Weaver as a manager, but thought his insistence waiting for a 3 run homer as a bit of stupidity. IMO, sometimes you have to try to make things happen to win.
As for strikeouts the issue here isn't the raw numbers, it's the skill of the players involved. We have too many 3/4 outcome hitters, with a K as one of them.
The amount of times we've struck out are middle of the league, but too often players dig a hole with poor plate patience, poor strike zone judgement and poor situational hitting that a strikeout ends up a more likely occurrence (especially when behind in the count) as a successful at-bat.
If we had guys hitting .300/.390/.600 we wouldn't care if they had 150-200 Ks.