Yesterday, we examined which teams were prone to squandering their scoring opportunities last season (a squander is defined as an inning in which no runs are scored despite putting a runner in scoring position with no outs). Today, we’ll find out which teams’ pitchers were able to “wiggle off the hook”, the other side of an offensive squander.
Here are all 30 teams, ranked by how often they were able to escape jams (RISP, none out) without any runs scoring in 2012:
Not only did the Red Sox allow opponents’ the most RISP/no out innings of any team in the American League and the second most in the majors (Colorado, 238), Boston rarely was able to escape the jams without damage as opponents failed to score only 26% of the time, third lowest/worst in the majors.
For those of you still wondering what sorcery it was that allowed Oakland to make the playoffs last season, part of that story can be found in the table above. Only one AL team allowed fewer RISP/no outs innings than the A’s (Tampa Bay, 173), and Oakland escaped a whopping 43.6% of those without allowing any runs. If I’m an A’s fan, this makes me awfully nervous heading into 2013 because duplicating that would appear to be an awful lot to ask.
At home, Boston’s “escapability” was even worse, as opponents’ failed to score in just 24% of their opportunities, tied for the lowest/worst home squander rate in the majors:
Let’s look at one last thing. If you can’t escape a RISP/no outs jam without allowing a run, the next best thing is limiting the damage. Here’s how often all 30 teams were able to allow no more than one run in those opportunities:
My take away from this table is that four of the five teams that were best at limiting the damage to one run or less made the playoffs in 2012.
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Big thanks to Baseball-Reference for making this research possible!