# The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

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The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

There has been much debate about where the fault lies on the Sox lack of success this year and in 2011: the offense (or unbalanced scoring) or the pitching (and defense).

I went back and combined the total AL record of 2011 and 2012  for each game based on how many runs were scored and how many runs were allowed. This gives us the normal expectation for winning when a given team scores a certain amount of runs or lets up a certain amount of runs. I then aplied that league norm winning percentage to what the results the Sox got for each subgroup of runs scored and runs let up. The differential, in theory, will show if we should have won more or less on any given run number scored or allowed. This data can be used to assign "blame" to the offense or the defense depending on what side of the differential we fell on.

(Side note: A winning team should do better than the norm on offense and defense. Breaking even would, in theory, lead a team to an 81-81 record, but for argument's sake, whichever side of the equation if farther from the norm-good or badly, should determine who is more at fault: the offense or the defense.)

The pitching is assigned plus or minus wins as related to how much run support they got. The offense is assigned plus or minus wins as related to how many runs our staff allowed.

Here's the data:

2012 Pitching Plus/Minus
Runs scored by offense
Runs/AL win%11-12/Tot. Gms/Expected wins/Sox W's/ Differential
0          .000                  2                          .000                 0                .000
1          .102                  3                          .306                 1              +.694
2          .219                  4                          .876                 0              - .876
3          .364                  4                         1.456                0            -1.456
4          .537                  2                         1.074                1             -  .074
5          .648                   0                           .000                0                .000
6          .693                  3                         2.079                2             -.079
7          .804                  1                           .804                1             +.196
8          .887                  0                           .000                0               .000
9          .907                  1                           .907                0             -.907
10        .926                  2                         1.852               2             +.148
11+     .991                  5                          4.955              4             -.955

The only subgroup where we have more wins than the league norm expectation is when we scored 1 run, 7 runs, and 10 runs. The total combined amount of wins we gained in those 3 sub groups was 1.038
(in red) or just over 1 win gained by better than norm results. In games where our staff won less than expectations based on the league norm, our staff lost a total of 4.347 (in black). Ta he net plus/minus comes to ...

MINUS  3.309 WINS

In other words, we should have won 3.3 more games based on game by game results and the amount of runs we scored.

2012 Offense Plus/Minus:
Runs allowed by pitching and defense.
Runs/AL win% 11-12/Tot. Gms/Expected wins/Sox W's/ Differential
0         1.000                       1                   1.000              1                .000
1           .901                       1                      .901              0              -.901
2           .787                       3                     2.361             3             +.639
3           .615                       4                     2.460             2              -.460
4           .466                       3                     1.398             1              -.398
5           .354                       3                     1.062             2              +.938
6           .260                       5                     1.300             2              +.700
7           .196                       1                       .196             0               -.196
8           .120                       1                       .120             0               -.120
9           .081                        1                       .081             0              -.081
10         .090                        1                      .090              0              -.090
11+      .009                        3                      .027              0              -.027

The net Plus/Minus for our offense:

MINUS .001 WINS (or basically status quo with the rest of the AL)

In summary, the offense has won/lost no games for us overall. The pitching has lost 3+ games for the team.

Later, I will do a study of 2011 ans Sept of 2011 as well.  Stay tuned!

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

In games where our staff won less than expectations

Put this drivel right up there with "jobs saved". Simply take the game logs for the Red Sox. In games they score 4 or more runs they are winning nearly 80% of the time.

The Red Sox in the AL/Fenway/DH will continue to earn the nearly a half a decade massive payroll losers lable, regardless of whether or not they sign the next FA "ace" who finds Fenway Park/AL/DH a bit of problem.

"It's the pitching" reminds me of all those loser teams that Pedro was on. It was the combination of Manny and Ortiz that was the essence of the Red Sox championship identity. And what they did can't be measured by some stupid comment about "should have won" or season long runs scored!

How many titles have the great Tampa Bay Rays won? Zero!

The author of this thread has whined for years, when he isn't licking Wastefield's boots, about getting more ace pitchers. Roy Halladay was the only profile at all that had value in a market where the author was begging to sign Santana and Lackey and big busts like that.

The "it's the pitching" has been the cry for nearly a half a decade. Surely, the quarter of billion a year being spent has had some stabs at "the pitching".

The value and winning identity for the Red Sox is in a RH young superstar. Other than slobber over Ellsbury, most fans just drivel away about "it's the pitching. Look at "how many runs the team scores last year and the year before.

Aggregate runs totals and runs allowed are virtually meaningless!

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

I checked the game logs and when they score less than 6 runs, they're 2-13.  Now that is the mark of some terrible pitching, isn't it?

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

In Response to Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense:
I checked the game logs and when they score less than 6 runs, they're 2-13.  Now that is the mark of some terrible pitching, isn't it?
Posted by Hfxsoxnut

PUFFERY!! Less than 6 runs? Oh, you mean 5 or less, right? But wait, they haven't yet scored 5 runs in ANY GAME! So, you mean 4 or less? They only scored 4 runs twice, so in totality, you mostly mean 3 or less... 1-12, that's all on the OFFENSE buddy.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

The Rays have 9 (!!!) wins this year where they scored 4 runs or less.  The Orioles have 6.  We have 2.  There you have good pitching making the difference and overcoming mediocre offence.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

In Response to Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense:
The Rays have 9 (!!!) wins this year where they scored 4 runs or less.  The Orioles have 6.  We have 2.  There you have good pitching making the difference and overcoming mediocre offence.
Posted by Hfxsoxnut

Orioles 5-7, Rays 5-6, when scoring 3 runs or less, the Sox, again, have not scored 5 runs in ANY game, and 4 runs in just two games...so let's compare apples to apples, OK?

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

OK, we're 1-12 when we score 3 runs or less.

I think our record is caused by a lethal combo of lousy pitching and yes, an offence that has been worse than its averages would indicate.  Sporadic double figure outbursts like the one tonight are hiding how many poor games the offence has had.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

Now a look at 2011...

2011 Pitching Plus/Minus
Runs scored by offense
Runs/AL win%11-12/Tot. Gms/Expected wins/Sox W's/ Differential
0          .000               11                          .000                 0          .000
1          .102               12                         1.224                2          +.776
2          .219               15                         3.285                2         -1.285
3          .364               17                         6.188                7          +.822
4          .537               30                        16.110             17          +.890
5          .648               15                         9.720               7          -2.720
6          .693               13                         9.009               9           -.009
7          .804                9                          7.236               7           -.236
8          .887                7                          6.209               7          +.791
9          .907                8                          7.256               8          +.744
10        .926                7                          6.482               6           -.482
11+     .991                17                        16.847             17          +.153

Pitching: MINUS  .556  WINS

2012 Offense Plus/Minus:
Runs allowed by pitching and defense.
Runs/AL win% 11-12/Tot. Gms/Expected wins/Sox W's/ Differential
0         1.000                      13                   13.000      13                .000
1           .901                      15                  13.515       13              -.515
2           .787                      15                  11.805       13            +1.115
3           .615                      24                  14.760        16           +1.240
4           .466                      20                    9.320       11            +1.680
5           .354                      23                    8.142       10            +1.858
6           .260                      14                    3.640        6              +.700
7           .196                      11                    2.156        3              +.844
8           .120                       4                      .480        2             +1.520
9           .081                     14                      1.134       2             +.866
10         .090                       3                      .270         1             +.730
11+      .009                        6                      .054         0              -.054

Offense: PLUS   9.984

Basically, the offense accounted for all the wins we had over a .500 season. (81+9=90)

The pitching was a push.

Now, for the September collapse. Who was more at fault?

Runs scored
R  Gms  Exp W  Sox W  Diff
0    2         .000       0     0
1    2         .204       0   -.204
2    4         .876       0   -.876
3    3       1.092       0  -1.092
4    5        2.685      1  -1.685
5    4        2.592      0  -2.592
6    0         0           0     0
7    1         .804      1    +.196
8    1         .887      1    +.113
9    0         0           0     0
10  1         .926      0     -.926
11+ 4   4   3.964     4    +.036

Pitching Total:  MINUS  7.030 WINS

Runs Allowed:
R  gms  ExpW  SoxW  Diff
0    1        1        1        0
1    1        .901    0     -.901
2    0        0        0        0
3    1       .615    1      +.385
4    4       1.467  1      -.467
5    1        .354   0      -.354
6    6       1.560  1      -.560
7    5        .980   2    +1.020
8    1       .120    0     -.120
9    4       .324    1     +.676
10  1       .090    0     -.090
11+ 2      .018    0     -.018

Offense: MINUS .429 WINS

Basically, the 7 games under .500 for September was all the pitcher's fault, except for under 1/2 a win turned to a loss by the offense.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

These numbers are a breakdown of the game logs vs what is the expected win total when scoring or letting up X amount of runs.  We are expected to win a certain amount of games when scoring just a few runs or a lot of runs, and also with runs allowed. How the team faired vs those expectations pinpoints where the lack of support came from.

The pitching.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

Good numbers, moon.

With regard to the 'sporadic' issue with the offence, I think the empirical evidence of this may be in the spread between the actual record and the Pythagorean record, which indicates that the team is winning more than its share of blowouts and losing more than its share of low-scoring games.  The 2011 team was -4 and this year's team is already -2.  The 2002 team was a classic example of this, with a huge run differential that should have equated to 100 wins but actually only produced 93 for a -7.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

In Response to Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense:
Good numbers, moon. With regard to the 'sporadic' issue with the offence, I think the empirical evidence of this may be in the spread between the actual record and the Pythagorean record, which indicates that the team is winning more than its share of blowouts and losing more than its share of low-scoring games.  The 2011 team was -4 and this year's team is already -2.  The 2002 team was a classic example of this, with a huge run differential that should have equated to 100 wins but actually only produced 93 for a -7.
Posted by Hfxsoxnut

I mentioned the Pythagorean rcord in an earlier post, it certainly provides insight on what the record should be. The bullpen has settled in, starters 4-5 are good enough, the pitching issue is just three guys, Lester, Buch and Beck, fix them, and add Lavarnway (3-3 tonite) over Salty, keep Middlebrooks over Youk, and soon Ells will be back, that changes everything.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

Good numbers, moon.

With regard to the 'sporadic' issue with the offence, I think the empirical evidence of this may be in the spread between the actual record and the Pythagorean record, which indicates that the team is winning more than its share of blowouts and losing more than its share of low-scoring games.  The 2011 team was -4 and this year's team is already -2.  The 2002 team was a classic example of this, with a huge run differential that should have equated to 100 wins but actually only produced 93 for a -7.

Correctomundo.

Those who think the hitting is to blame is missing these facts:

While scoring 1-4 runs is not good, over the 13 games the Sox have scored in that range, we should have won about 3.5 games. Instead, we won 2. Other teams win low scoring close games...with their pitching. We don't win our share. Our team has scored 6+ runs 12 times. We should have had about 10.8 wins, but only have 9. Together thats a 3.3 game swing due to poor pitching goign game by game.

In the 12 games our pitching kept the Opps under 4 runs, we should have won 8 games, but won 7 instead. Our hitting let our staff down in those games by 1 game, however, the offense bailed out the staff in some games they deserved to lose. In the 8 games we let up 5-6 runs, we should have had 2.362 wins, but our bats helped us win 4. That evened out the lose mentioned earlier.

Overall, the offense has not won or lost us any games. Considering all the injuries, I'd say they have done OK. A little more timely hitting would have helped, but all in all, they have scored enough to be a .500 team considering the runs allowed game by game through a game log.

The pitching has lost us about 3 games.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

The Rays have 9 (!!!) wins this year where they scored 4 runs or less. -Hfxsoxnut

...and they did this scoring
133 runs in 29 games

Boston has scored
144 in 27 games

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

moonskav, your the numbers expert here, I see.  But, I think we can all agree that this team needs to be able to win low scoring games in the larger sample of the season to contend.  And that onus comes down to our pitching.

Not hitting will stand out when it faces stellar pitching, no matter if you're the Rangers, NYY, or Sox.

If a Felix Hernandez shuts down the Sox, I'm not going to scream at the lineup.

Exactly, and when the season winds down, it's even more about the pitching. Think about it in reverse. If Felix shuts us down, you won't blame the offense; well, if we had guys like Felix (or a much better balanced staff) , the opps would be saying the same about us.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

what is the expected win total when scoring

Decent pitching on the road, and it would have been another loss if it hadn't been for Middlebrooks, Ortiz and offensive production.

11-3 when scoring 4 runs or more. Pitching isn't going to win a lot of AL/DL/Fenway games. Perhaps if the Red Sox moved to a roller derby rink or moved into the NL.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

In Response to Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense:
The forum had no idea what "median" meant until several forum regulars who had taken courses on statistics in college had to inform others on the improper usage of the term. So many fools come here and try to pretend that they know statistics when they do not but this a typical behavior on this forum. This is why the forum never gets any new members and the old fraternity regulars stay - because they prefer the company of other buffoons and those with opinions and no facts, logic, or reason. To them, the truth is irrelevant and entertainment presides. Newbies who prefer loyalty, sincerity, honesty, deep thought, and logic are dismissed.
Posted by Calzone65

We get some new members but "keeping up" and understanding the math is not as much a problem dealing with trolls. People who come here simply to be pests. Simply to make everyone else miserable. Suffering that is what I don't like. It happens here a lot.

I agree that lack of advanced statistical knowledge is a little lacking. But guys like Moon, Tom and a few others can function very well in that arena also and most of those who do not understand stats in depth contribute well in other ways. It's really not that difficult to understand most of the numbers, even with basic statistical knowledge. I clepped out of statistics in college after spending 6 weeks on it in HS. I wish I knew more but as with many here, I don't think it's a big problem. Most of us are here to talk baseball without taking a dump on everyone else regularly. There is more insight here than you might know.

If it helps, I recommend you look at this as a beginners forum in part made up of misfits and narcissists but a few really solid contributors make it worthwhile. and some of the very best rarely even discuss statistics. There are a lot of other forums out there with a more advanced approach. If you contribute insight and good humor you will finds friends here.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

As far as I'm concerned it's mainly about the pitching. If we can just put a string of good starting pitching together we can make a solid playoff run. I'm really disapointed in Buchholz so far. I really thought this would be a great year for him. Maybe the layoff has hurt him most and he can still turn things around in time. If he gets his changeup cooking he can zoom right back to the top.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

In Response to Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense:
The forum had no idea what "median" meant until several forum regulars who had taken courses on statistics in college had to inform others on the improper usage of the term. So many fools come here and try to pretend that they know statistics when they do not but this a typical behavior on this forum. This is why the forum never gets any new members and the old fraternity regulars stay - because they prefer the company of other buffoons and those with opinions and no facts, logic, or reason. To them, the truth is irrelevant and entertainment presides. Newbies who prefer loyalty, sincerity, honesty, deep thought, and logic are dismissed.
Posted by Calzone65

Most of us have a pretty clear understanding of stats, but that doesn't stop us from looking at the same numbers and seeing two different things.

The thread on "median averages" was tongue-and-cheek. If you took heart from some of the things I said, then you missed the joke.

Yes, our median runs scored is 4, rather than the much preferred 5. However, we are short 3 starters and are just two 6 run games away from having a median of 6 runs, not 4. Those 3 players are expected back, so using the data to show that our #1 trade/acquire priority is offense is just plain wrong.

Our median runs allowed is 5. Is that acceptable? Which is worse: a median runs scored of 4, or a median runs allowed of 5?

We have Dice-K returning. That's it. We have hopes that Lester and beckett, known for slow starts, will pick up the pace, but it is clear that our biggest need is pitching (and defense).

It would be nice if we could move some of the runs from our big games to the lower scoring games, but the fact is scoring 6 or 7 runs greatly increases the chance of winning over scoring 5 runs. It just hasn't worked out that way as much as it should, because our staff can't even win games we score 9+ runs!  We have lost 2 games where we scored 9 or more runs. That's 2 too many.

Yes, 13 games scoring 4 runs or less is about 2-3 games too many, but the fact is, many teams win 20-30 percent of those games by matching up with good/great pitching. We are 1-12 in thiose games, while the league average would be about 3-9 or 4-8. Losing low scoring games is not 100% the offense's fault.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

Nothing wrong with the offense. Our defense is terrible and the SP even worse.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

Our offense will get better short term and long term with the infusion of youth and the return of Ellsbury and a lesser extent CC and Youk.

Our pitching may or may not get better with the return of Dice-K and Bailey (and lackey in 2013). It may or may not get better depending on lester, Beckett and Buch to turn things around.

It would be great to have a big bopper RH'd bat batting 4th, but our biggest need is pitching.

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

FYI:

Billy Butler is one of the guys softy claimed could never hit as well as VMart (in the big VMart is just an average hitting 1Bman debate 2 winters ago.)

.296  6  23  (.341/.530/.872)

2011: .291  19  95  (.361/.461/.822)

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Re: The Nitty Gritty on Where the Fault Lies: Offense vs Defense

Second best in the AL in runs scored and BA.

Second worst in the league in ERA.