Scoring position

In the sport of baseball, a baserunner is said to be in scoring position when they are on second or third base. The distinction between being on first base and second or third base is that a runner on first can usually only score if the batter hits an extra-base hit, while a runner on second or third can score on a single. This is also known as "ducks on the pond". Runners left in scoring position refers to the number of runners on second or third at the end of an inning and is an inverse measure of a team's offensive efficiency.

Many of baseball's "small ball" or "one run" tactics center on attempts to move a runner on base into scoring position. Such tactics were dominant in the 1890s and the dead-ball era, when extra-base hits were relatively rare.

Batting average with runners in scoring position

Batting average with runners in scoring position (abbreviated BA/RISP or BA/RSP) is a baseball statistic derived by dividing a players hits with runners in scoring positions by their at bats with runners in scoring position.

BA/RISP is often used as an indicator of clutch ability, as a hit with a runner on second base or third will likely score the runner and is thus considered a clutch situation. Recently, however, the statistic has been replaced with Win Probability Added, considered to be a better measure of clutch ability.

A variation to this statistic is called Batting Average with two outs and Runners in Scoring Position, which is also calculated by dividing a players' hits with runners on second or third by their at bats in this situation. A hit is more likely to score at least one or two runs-depending on the speed of the runner, the strength of the outfielder's arm, the number of runners in scoring position, etc.-because the runners will be going on contact—that is, they run once the batter hits the ball. But if the batter records an out, then the inning ends with those runners left on base.

Highest all-time single-season batting averages with runners in scoring position

Minimum 100 at bats; through 2013.[1]

# Player Avg Team(s) Year
1 George Brett .469 Kansas City 1980
2 Tony Gwynn .459 San Diego 1997
3 Allen Craig .454 St. Louis 2013
4 Ichiro Suzuki .445 Seattle 2001
5 Mickey Mantle .444 New York (AL) 1956
6 Paul Molitor .444 Milwaukee 1987
7 Ted Williams .442 Boston (AL) 1948
8 Manny Ramírez .435 Boston (AL) 2002
9 Magglio Ordóñez .429 Detroit 2007

References

Notes
  1. ^ Taylor, Jon (August 26, 2013). "Allen Craig and the St. Louis Cardinals are in a make-or-break stretch". SI.com. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
Bibliography
1919 World Series

The 1919 World Series matched the American League champion Chicago White Sox against the National League champion Cincinnati Reds. Although most World Series have been of the best-of-seven format, the 1919 World Series was a best-of-nine series (along with 1903, 1920, and 1921). Baseball decided to try the best-of-nine format partly to increase popularity of the sport and partly to generate more revenue.The events of the series are often associated with the Black Sox Scandal, when several members of the Chicago franchise conspired with gamblers, allegedly led by Arnold Rothstein, to throw the World Series games. The 1919 World Series was the last World Series to take place without a Commissioner of Baseball in place. In 1920, the various franchise owners installed Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first "Commissioner of Baseball." In August 1921, despite being acquitted from criminal charges, eight players from the White Sox were banned from organized baseball for fixing the series (or having knowledge about the fix).

1986 World Series

The 1986 World Series was the 83rd edition of Major League Baseball's championship series, and the conclusion of the 1986 Major League Baseball season. A best-of-seven playoff, it pitted the National League (NL) champion New York Mets against the American League (AL) champion Boston Red Sox. The Mets won the Series in the seventh game, after overcoming a deficit of two runs with two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6. This was a game in which the Red Sox were twice one strike away from victory, and known for the famous error by Boston's first baseman Bill Buckner after their lead had already been blown. Game 6 has been cited in the legend of the "Curse of the Bambino" to explain the major comeback. It was also the first World Series to use the designated hitter only in games played at the American League representative's stadium, a policy which has continued since (prior to this, since 1976, the DH would be used in all parks in the World Series for even-numbered years, but in odd-numbered years, the DH rule would not be in effect).

1992 World Series

The 1992 World Series was the 89th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series and the conclusion of the 1992 Major League Baseball season. It was the first World Series in which games were played outside the United States. It pitted the American League (AL) champion Toronto Blue Jays against the National League (NL) champion Atlanta Braves.

Toronto defeated Atlanta four games to two, marking the first time a team based outside the United States won the World Series. The Blue Jays remain the only Canadian team to have appeared in, and won, a World Series (which they would do again the following year, in 1993).

2006 Australian Grand Prix

The 2006 Australian Grand Prix (formally the LXXI Foster's Australian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park, Melbourne on 2 April 2006. The 57-lap race was the 22nd Australian Grand Prix as part of the World Championship, and the 71st Australian Grand Prix overall. It was also the third round of the 2006 Formula One season; the Australian Grand Prix had been the season opener since 1996, but this race was held later due to the 2006 Commonwealth Games being held in Melbourne at the time of the opening round. The season was instead opened in Bahrain, and Australia regained its first round of the season slot for 2007.

The race was won by Renault's Fernando Alonso (Renault's third win from three races), with the McLaren of Kimi Räikkönen second. Ralf Schumacher finished in third place to take the last podium of his career with the Toyota team. Polesitter Jenson Button retired from the race when his engine blew on the final lap. He eventually stopped roughly ten metres from the finish line, losing a points scoring position (fifth place) in the process.

Murray Walker made a return to the commentary box for a one-off with Australia's Network Ten.

When Mark Webber took the lead on lap 21 in his Williams-Cosworth he became the first Australian driver to lead his home Grand Prix since John Bowe led the early laps of the non-championship 1984 race driving a Ralt RT4 Ford.

This was the last race until the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix that neither Ferrari was classified.

2009 Rally Argentina

The 2009 Rally Argentina was the 29th running of the Rally Argentina and the fifth round of the 2009 World Rally Championship season. The rally consisted of 23 special stages and was run on 23–26 April. It was won by Citroën's Sébastien Loeb for the fifth consecutive year. His teammate Dani Sordo finished second.

Ford's Mikko Hirvonen, who was in second place only six seconds behind Loeb after stage 14, retired due to an engine problem. This gave Loeb a 20-point lead in the drivers' championship.

Hirvonen's teammate Jari-Matti Latvala, under pressure to get a good result after his recent crashes, dropped out of contention for the win after a puncture on Friday. His Focus WRC later incurred an electrical problem, costing over eight minutes, but he was able to continue and finish sixth.

Following Ford's problems, Petter Solberg was on course for his second podium of the season, but he soon ran into fuel pressure problems and the third place was inherited by his brother Henning. This marked his career fourth podium finish. Home country's Federico Villagra beat Stobart's Matthew Wilson to take a career-best fourth place. Citroën Junior Team drivers Sébastien Ogier and Conrad Rautenbach both retired on Saturday. However, Ogier re-joined the rally under superally rules and finished seventh. Production World Rally Championship class winner Nasser Al-Attiyah took the last points-scoring position.

Al Levine

Alan Brian Levine (born May 22, 1968) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher who pitched 234 games in the minor leagues, and 416 games in the major leagues.

Allen Craig

Allen Thomas Craig (born July 18, 1984) is a former American professional baseball first baseman and outfielder. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. The Cardinals drafted him from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2006, and he made his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2010.

Each season in the minor leagues from 2007–09, Craig finished with a batting average of over .300 with at least 20 home runs. A .306 career hitter in MLB through 2013, he increased his production with runners in scoring position (RISP). In 2012, he posted a .400 batting average with RISP. The next season, he raised that figure to .454, the third-highest average of all time.

Craig has appeared in two World Series and in both made history. In the 2011 World Series, he tied a record by collecting three hits that drove in the game-winning run. In 2013, he became the first player to score a game-winning run on an obstruction call.

Base running

In baseball, base running is the act of running around the bases performed by members of the team at bat.

In general, base running is a tactical part of the game with the goal of eventually reaching home to score a run. The goal of batting is generally to produce base runners, or help move base runners along. Runners on second or third base are considered to be in scoring position since a normal hit, even a single, will often score them. Part of the goal of a runner and a batter is to get the runner into scoring position.

Craig Breslow

Craig Andrew Breslow (pronounced BREHZ-loh; born August 8, 1980) is an American baseball executive serving as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs in Major League Baseball (MLB), and a former professional baseball pitcher. He played in MLB for the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Miami Marlins.

As a senior at Yale University, where he majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, he led the Ivy League with a 2.56 ERA. He was drafted in the 26th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002, and debuted in the Major Leagues with the San Diego Padres in 2005.

Through 2013, he held major league batters to a .217 batting average with runners in scoring position (and .204 with two outs and runners in scoring position). While he was long considered a lefty specialist, he was successful against right-handed hitters as well. Through 2013, lefties hit only .230 against him (while righties hit .222), with a .354 slugging percentage (.331 for righties). He was second in the American League in appearances by a pitcher in both 2009 (77 games) and 2010 (75 games).

Breslow was given the nickname "smartest man in baseball" by Minneapolis Star Tribune Twins beat writer La Velle E. Neal III, and Wall Street Journal reporter Jason Turbow wrote: "Judging by his résumé, Craig Breslow is the smartest man in baseball, if not the entire world." The Sporting News named him the smartest athlete on their top-20 list, in 2010. After the 2018 season, he ranked 4th of all active left-handed MLB pitchers in career appearances. He stands 6' 1," and weighs 185 lbs.

Fast break

Fast break is an offensive strategy in basketball and handball. In a fast break, a team attempts to move the ball up court and into scoring position as quickly as possible, so that the defense is outnumbered and does not have time to set up. The various styles of the fast break–derivative of the original created by Frank Keaney–are seen as the best method of providing action and quick scores. A fast break may result from cherry picking.

History of the St. Louis Cardinals (1990–present)

The St. Louis Cardinals, a professional baseball franchise based in St. Louis, Missouri, compete in the National League (NL) of Major League Baseball (MLB). Brewing magnate Gussie Busch's 37-year-long ownership of the club ended with his death in 1989, and his brewery, Anheuser-Busch (AB) took over. In 1995, an investment group led by Drew Baur and William DeWitt, Jr., purchased the team and have owned the club since. Shortstop Ozzie Smith – nicknamed "The Wizard" – collected a staggering array of defensive records and awards while performing acrobatic spectacles such as somersaults and flips that mesmerized Cardinal and non-Cardinal fans alike. In 1998, Mark McGwire and the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa collocated national attention with their chase of Roger Maris' single-season home run record of 61. In addition, McGwire also set numerous team home run records. For the 1990s, the Cardinals captured one division title and finished above .500 five times for a .488 winning percentageThe Baur-DeWitt era continued Busch's and the Cardinals' winning tradition the next decade. Walt Jocketty, with a reputation as a top player developer, became the GM in 1995, and he hired renowned manager Tony La Russa. DeWitt's ownership group oversaw a period of consistent playoff appearances through key acquisitions of players. He also implemented a philosophy of bolstering talent from the minor leagues as the farm system consistently lagged near the bottom in baseball, as noted by publications such as ESPN and Baseball America. From 2000 to 2013, the Cardinals made ten playoff appearances, won two World Series and four NL pennants. With 1,274 regular season wins against 993 losses for a .560 winning percentage, the Cardinals led the National League and were second in MLB only to the New York Yankees. The Cardinals acquired defensive experts and sluggers Jim Edmonds (center fielder) in 2000 and Scott Rolen (third baseman) in 2002. A thirteenth-round draft pick in Albert Pujols unexpectedly put together one of the most productive ten years in Major League history with a .331 batting average and 408 home runs. Free agent acquisition and pitcher Chris Carpenter led St. Louis' pitching staff into multiple playoff hunts.

However, revelations of the widespread use of banned substances across baseball came to light in the 2000s decade that retroactively exposed McGwire's home run record chase and former pitcher Rick Ankiel's comeback bid as a hitter. Despite the scandals, the Cardinals acquired Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, Carlos Beltrán and Adam Wainwright to replace Edmonds, Pujols, Rolen and Carpenter. Eventually, McGwire issued a public apology and returned to the Cardinals as the hitting coach. La Russa retired from managing after 2011 with the most wins in franchise history (1,408) and World Series championships (two) and Mike Matheny replaced him. Concurrently, the fruition of a new player development model of which DeWitt pursued contributed greatly to two World Series appearances in 2011 and 2013, such as David Freese putting on rare comeback heroics and Allen Craig compiling a historically high batting average with runners in scoring position.

From 1990 to 2013, St. Louis made eleven total playoff appearances and had a combined record of 2,032 wins and 1,787 losses for a .531 winning percentage, fourth-best among all major league teams in that span.

Jeff Nelson (pitcher)

Jeffrey Allan Nelson (born November 17, 1966) is an American former baseball relief pitcher and current broadcaster who played 15 years in Major League Baseball. Jeff Nelson is married to Sheri Quinn. He batted and threw right-handed. Nelson retired on January 12, 2007, the same day he signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees.Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 22nd round of the 1984 amateur draft; he signed June 21, 1984.

In his Major League career Nelson pitched in 798 games with a 48-45 record, and with runners in scoring position and two out he held batters to a .191 batting average. In 55 post-season games (second all-time behind former teammate Mariano Rivera), he compiled a 2-3 mark with 62 strikeouts and a 2.65 ERA in 54.1 innings. Among hitters whom he dominated most were Troy Glaus, who in 14 at-bats was hitless with 11 strikeouts.Nelson had three stints with the Seattle Mariners (1992–1995, 2001–2003 and again in 2005). He is Seattle's all-time record holder for most games pitched (383), and has a 23-20 record with the Mariners. Nelson is currently a television color analyst for the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees.

John Grabow

John William Grabow, nicknamed "Grabes" (born November 4, 1978) is an American retired Major League Baseball left-handed reliever. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs.

In his major league career, he held opposing batters to a .218 batting average and a .293 slugging percentage when there were runners in scoring position. He made 340 appearances between 2004–08, which ranks him fourth in the majors and first among left-handed relievers in the National League for that period.In nine years in the majors he played in 506 games and had a 24–19 record, using a fastball, slider, and change up.

McLaren MP4-24

The McLaren MP4-24 was McLaren-Mercedes' Formula One car for the 2009 Formula One season. It was revealed at McLaren's headquarters in Woking, United Kingdom on 16 January 2009.The following day, team test driver Pedro de la Rosa gave the MP4-24 its first test run at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.In testing, the MP4-24 was proven slower than its rivals due to aerodynamic problems, with Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen repeatedly at the bottom of the timesheets. The car came under much scrutiny from team members and other critics alike. Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal, said the team "had not done a good enough job". He also went on to say "We have an underdeveloped car, we do not have sufficient aerodynamic downforce and we would like to focus on rectifying that as quickly as we can."The car was originally designed with a conventional diffuser. The MP4-24 was fitted with a modified diffuser based on similar principles to the double-decker designs at the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix after the FIA confirmed that such components were legal, after several teams had asked the FIA to clarify the matter.

After the British Grand Prix, the midpoint of the 2009 season, McLaren had scored just 13 Constructor's World Championship points with Hamilton scoring 9 and Kovalainen 4. By the same point in 2008 they had scored 72 points and Hamilton was jointly leading the Driver's World Championship with Felipe Massa on 48 points. Hamilton had made public calls to scrap the car and a former team owner turned commentator Eddie Jordan had proclaimed it as "possibly the worst car McLaren have ever designed".The impact of upgrades to Hamilton's car for the next race at the Nürburgring for the German Grand Prix were positive and saw him qualify in 5th, with Kovalainen in 6th place. However, a collision with Mark Webber's Red Bull at the first corner punctured a tyre and damaged the undertray of the car which effectively ended any chance of competing for a points scoring position, and Hamilton finished the race in 18th and last place with Kovalainen scraping into the points in 8th.

There was a 3-week break between Germany and the next round at Hungary by which time both cars had been upgraded to the new specification. Again, the weekend started well with both cars showing good pace and Hamilton qualified 4th and Kovalainen 6th. This time Hamilton was able to demonstrate the true effectiveness of the upgraded car by winning the race in convincing style. Acknowledging his previous remarks live on the BBC after the race, Eddie Jordan expressed his amazement at how McLaren had managed to turn the car into a race winner. Despite disappointing results at Spa and Monza, Hamilton claimed his second win of the year under the lights of Singapore's Marina Bay from pole position, and a pair of third places in Suzuka and São Paulo helped McLaren clinch third place in the Constructors championship with 71 points, pipping rivals Ferrari by 1 point.

The MP4-24 was succeeded by the MP4-25.

Ron Blomberg

Ronald Mark Blomberg (born August 23, 1948), nicknamed Boomer, is an American former professional baseball player and minor league manager. He played in Major League Baseball as a designated hitter, first baseman and right fielder. He played for the New York Yankees (1969, 1971–76) and Chicago White Sox (1978), and was the manager of the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox in the Israel Baseball League (2007). He was the first designated hitter in Major League Baseball history. He batted left-handed, and threw right-handed.Over eight seasons, Blomberg compiled a .293 batting average (391-for-1,333) with 52 home runs, 224 RBIs, 184 runs, 67 doubles, and 8 triples in 461 games. He added a .360 on-base percentage and a .473 slugging average. For his career, he hit .304 against right-handers, and .304 with two out and runners in scoring position, as well as .325 when the score was tied.

Shuhei Aoyama

Shuhei Aoyama (born December 5, 1984, in Ichihara, Chiba) is a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer. He is the younger brother of MotoGP rider Hiroshi Aoyama.

He rode in the All-Japan Road Racing Championship until 2005, when he won the 250cc championship with Honda. He previously won the 125cc championship in 2003, also with Honda. He also rode a couple of events as wildcard rider in the Grand Prix World Championships during his stint in Japan.

After winning the 250cc championship in Japan, Aoyama secured a Grand Prix World Championships ride with Honda's 250cc factory team in 2006. He replaced his brother Hiroshi Aoyama, who moved to KTM. He scored his first podium finish with a third-place at Le Mans, finishing just ahead of his brother, Hiroshi. He finished the season eighth in overall standings with 99 points and was named as Rookie Of The Year for his performance in his debut season. In 2007, he remained with the team, but he failed to improved on his rookie season. He failed to record a podium finish and finished the season 12th in overall standings. However, he recorded his first pole position in his home race at Motegi.

In 2008, he moved to World Superbike. He once again teamed up with Honda, riding a Honda CBR1000RR motorcycle with Alto Evolution Honda Superbike. However, he struggled to adapt with the bigger 1000 cc four-stroke bike and only managed two point-scoring position.

Aoyama was left without a permanent ride in 2009, but he made a return to 250cc Grand Prix World Championships as a wild-card rider in his home race at Motegi. He finished with a 6th place after starting from 17th on the grid.

It was not possible to find a contract for the 2010 season even though he wanted to aim for the world title. Aoyama announced his active service retirement on his own blog on February 8, 2010. Afterwards, he participated in the Japanese Auto Race series.

Small ball (baseball)

In the sport of baseball, small ball is an informal term for an offensive strategy in which the batting team emphasizes placing runners on base and then advancing them into scoring position for a run in a deliberate, methodical way. This strategy places a high value on individual runs and attempts to score them without requiring extra base hits, or sometimes without base hits at all, instead using bases on balls, stolen bases, sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly balls, the hit-and-run play, and aggressive baserunning with such plays as the contact play. A commonly used term for a run produced playing small ball is a "manufactured run". This style of play is more often found in National League game situations than in the American League due in large part to the absence of the designated hitter in the National League.

However, the 2014-2015 Kansas City Royals are the most recent example of a team with a small ball orientation.

A team may incorporate a small-ball strategy for a variety of reasons, including:

The team is confident that their pitching staff will allow very few runs, thus one or two runs may win the game.

The opposing pitching staff allows few hits, especially extra-base hits, and small ball may be the best way to score runs at all.

The team lacks consistent hitters and must find a way to score runs with few base hits.

The team has several members who are very quick and are likely to steal bases, or go from first base to third base on a single.

The team is in the late innings of a close game and a single run will tie the game, break a tie, or extend a narrow lead.Most commonly, managers will switch to small-ball tactics while a game is in progress, doing so upon the convergence of a variety of factors including having appropriate hitters coming up next in the batting order and, often, having fast runners already on base. A team could also start the game with the intention of playing small ball but then change from this strategy at some point during a game, depending on circumstances, such as when the opposing pitcher is struggling or has left the game or when the team is ahead or behind by several runs.

Triple (baseball)

In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay (see error) nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice. A triple is sometimes called a "three-bagger" or "three-base hit". For statistical and scorekeeping purposes it is denoted by 3B.Triples have become somewhat rare in Major League Baseball. It often requires a ball hit to a distant part of the field, or the ball taking an unusual bounce in the outfield. It also usually requires that the batter hit the ball solidly, and be a speedy runner. It also often requires that the batter's team have a good strategic reason for wanting the batter on third base, as a double will already put the batter in scoring position and there will often be little strategic advantage to taking the risk of trying to stretch a double into a triple. (The inside-the-park home run is much rarer than a triple). The trend for modern ballparks is to have smaller outfields (often increasing the number of home runs); it has ensured that the career and season triples leaders mostly consist of those who played early in Major League Baseball history, generally in the dead-ball era.

A walk-off triple (one that ends a game) occurs very infrequently. For example, the 2016 MLB season saw only three walk-off triples, excluding one play that was actually a triple plus an error.

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