5 random observations about travel softball

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by Coach Tony, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. wow

    wow Active Member

    Thanks coach. Great info. I think this is a huge piece of the strategy of the game. Obviously every situation is different but this info is a great ingredient to understanding manufacturing runs

    Run expect.JPG

    AMEN. This is exactly why softball IQ matters. Situations matter. Choices made are a little bit of stats and gut feelings. Just hope more of the first and not the latter.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  2. JoeA1010

    JoeA1010 Active Member

    Fairman is right that each situation is different, depending on the batter and other factors. You take what we know generally with charts like the one above and then factor in the game situation, including the pitcher, batter, etc.

    With the "stats and gut feelings" wow mentions, I think the gut feelings come from an understanding of the odds. We may not be able to quantify the gut feeling, but I think it's just a less concrete version of stats. If we're taking wild guesses on decisions, that might work here and there and make a coach feel good, but in the long run it will cost his team a lot of runs.
  3. tjsmize3

    tjsmize3 Active Member

    There is no statistical advantage to be at second with one out over being at first with no outs. This is not exactly correct if you believe the data I posted from MLB. There is a 5.69% BETTER chance of scoring 1 run with a runner on second and 1 out vs. a runner on 1B and no outs. Therefore, if you are playing to score 1 RUN ONLY (i.e. bottom of 7th tie game or down by 1 run) you statistically are better of bunting the runner over. However, if you routinely bunt the runner over in a game in the belief you will score more runs overall in the course of a 7 inning game, you are correct for that situation.

    Bunting the runner over greatly reduces the chance of posting a croaked number that inning. This is absolutely correct no matter how you look at it.
  4. Rocket8

    Rocket8 Member

    So on a slightly different angle - what about a coach who does not know his/her players and their ability to be successful in various situations. To me this is vital. We want to put so much emphasis on the players and their development (which I agree with) but being able to recognize and utilize a players strengths and weaknesses is so important. My cleanup hitter was one of my three best bunters, mired in an awful slump she would signal me all the time for a suicide squeeze (yes girls had signals that they could give me at 3B). She lost her confidence in her swing. I had to utilize her bunting ability (even suicide squeeze with two outs) while also trying to build her confidence back up in the box. Coaches have to be able to understand what their players can and cannot do consistently, use that to the teams advantage and also continue to develop and help that player be successful. Our players were taught to always be thinking ahead of the game and as I watch them play at HS level - they have continued to play that way. I no longer coach but it is very easy to see players and teams who are not prepared for the next play. Someone earlier mention educating the players - totally agree give them the information, direction and knowledge then guide them along - coaches that are always telling a player/team what to do and barking out instructions all the time are teaching. That should be done before and after the game.

    It takes a while for some coaches to realize this. I asked a girl to do something in a game I talked about for two minutes at a practice, no walk through no more instruction. Guess what the kid was confused, got deer in headlight reaction, didn't understand what I was asking of her and did not perform. That is when I realized it needed to be taught at practice, worked on and have constant discussions. Coaches should always be talking to their players, answering questions, giving them things to think about and adding to their softball IQ.
  5. BHaines

    BHaines New Member

    As a female coach, i appreciate #5 on your list. I would expand this to say that the other coaches who are male and umpires who are male, can facilitate this in the way they treat female coaches at tournaments. I can't tell you how many times an umpire has asked my male assistant coach to participate in the coach's meeting at the beginning of a game. Or how many times the opposing coach has approached my male assistant coach to introduce himself prior to a game. In both instances, these men just assumed that the male was the head coach and the female was the assistant or the bookkeeper. No, no, no, this is not a rant, just a real life observation. I have spoken to other female coaches over the years and they have had similar experiences. Usually, we have a good chuckle over it. :)
  6. JoeA1010

    JoeA1010 Active Member

    This is the opposite in college. I am assumed to be a dad by many travel teams when I'm out recruiting and even sometimes at our games if I don't know the other coach. I can't tell you how many times I've sat there and watched a game and then a female college coach comes up and the travel coaches run right out to chat with them and give them profiles and leave me sitting there.

    Most travel coaches are male and most college coaches are female, so it's a natural reaction for everyone involved.
  7. wow

    wow Active Member

    Just a outstanding post. This was what I was getting at all along. Its about situational awareness and using strengths. I really like the way you found a way to utilize a players strength, while minimizing a weakness. More importantly the development of the mental and physical game as it relates to each other.
  8. Fairman

    Fairman Member

    (Using the chart posted by WOW)

    Since we are playing softball lets focus on the SB data.

    No outs, runner on first - SB posts a 1.044.
    One out, runner on Second - SB posts a .736.

    That?s a 40% less chance of scoring in Softball with a runner on second and one out.
    Statistically, bunting a runner 1st to 2nd in exchange for an out in softball is a bad bet, Maybe giving up an out for second is the bad bet.
    It does look like moving a runner to 3rd in exchange a 1st out, actually does improve your chances of scoring.

    The straight steal or a hit and run might be a better decision...actually a double in the right field corner is best.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  9. 22dad

    22dad Member

    Add the fact that most often your best bunters are your best hitters and you took the bat out of their hands.
  10. tjsmize3

    tjsmize3 Active Member

    Fairman there is not a 40% greater chance of "scoring in softball" with a runner on second and one out. I think you are using run expectancy numbers to create that number. 0.736 is 71% of 1.044 which means that in Division 1 College Softball (not "softball" across the board) for the 2014 season there were 29% more runs scored for all games that year with a runner on 1B and 0 outs vs. a runner on 2B w/ 1 out. The likelihood of scoring AT LEAST 1 RUN in a SINGLE GAME is based on ScEx, which in 2014 Div 1 College Softball was only 2.4% greater in the 1st and no out vs. 2nd and 1 out situation. That's why I had originally said it gets confusing. In 98 games out of 100 when Div 1 college softball teams in 2014 needed to score AT LEAST 1 RUN to either win it or tie it up, stats suggest the outcomes would have been identical rather you had 1st and no outs, or 2nd and 1 out. True if you use 2014 softball stats over MLB stats there is a statistical disadvantage of scoring a run in this case by 2.4%. But, it is so small I think most people would take this to mean if you need to score 1 run with a player on 1st and no outs you're probably better off just making the judgement based on your player personnel. A 2.4% difference is basically 0 in the real world.
  11. To bunt or not to bunt, that is the question.
    Factors I see in the decision, some of which have been mentioned:
    1) Batters hitting ability, strikeout percentage, OB%
    Who is on deck?
    2) Runners speed and/ or base running ability (can we go 1st to 3rd?)
    Batters speed and ability to put pressure on the defense
    3) score and inning
    tie/ down 1/ up 1
    early in the game and you want to break the ice?
    4) opposing pitcher and opposing defense (is it a good pitcher with bad bunt roation? Can the pitcher field her spot? Are the corners quick or less athletic shall we say?)

    Im in the school of thought of putting all factors in mind and determining what gives us the best chance to score multiple runs and keep pressure on the defense. Of course the stats are a cross between MLB and D1 softball so I would say that percentages are much different at lower levels.
  12. FastBat

    FastBat Well-Known Member

    I'm a huge advocate of every player on the team being able to put a bunt down. IMHO, if they can't do that, they aren't a very well rounded or perhaps athletic player. It's a basic softball fundamental. The biggest obstacle to a bunt is the player has to want to do it.

    I was always taught the team with less defensive errors than their opponent usually wins. I will add the team with less defensive errors than their opponent with scoring one run. If you want to win, someone needs to cross the plate.

    I feel the better games and the better your team gets, the more 1 run games there will be. High scoring games has always felt a little rec'y to me.

    Love this!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  13. wow

    wow Active Member

    Please please tell me everyone watched the Indians game. If you said bunt Gomes, you have not learned anything. What a great call stealing 2nd and then batteling full boat. Not only did Gomes battle with two strikes and make something happen by bgetting rid of pitches he put the ball in play!!! Did not try and bunt after the first attempt, made an adjustment. No outs with a runner at 2... You knew they were gonna win. That's a fricken textbook win folks.
  14. Mad Hornet

    Mad Hornet Active Member

    Only reason to bunt with runner on first with one out (other than trying to manufacture a run in end game) is if it's the best way for the hitter to get on. I love it when the runner gets forced out at second on these plays
  15. coachjwb

    coachjwb Well-Known Member

    I hate to be a math geek, but if I understand the numbers being quoted and they are correct, then while .736 is 71% of 1.044, 1.044 is 40% more than .736.

    Stats/numbers are an important part of the game, but gut feeling is also important, and everything is situational.

    I actually enjoy being a math geek. :)
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  16. tjsmize3

    tjsmize3 Active Member

    Lol... you got me... should have said 29% less vs. 40% more.

    In any case, interesting to see the passion arguing about a decision that 95-98% of the time leads to the same outcome irregardless of the choice.

    Surely we agree on that math :D
  17. Louuuuu

    Louuuuu Member

    Please let the English Geek chime in. "Regardless" - there's no such thing as irregardless.


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