We have all heard about the Cubs having to be more patient while batting. The apparently large number of one-pitch outs this year has been alarming, but in many ways, it has carried over from last year. Which got me thinking. There is probably some kind of statistical correlation between being more patient at the plate and winning more games.
So I went into the Cubs' game logs from this year. This is accurate up to the first game against the White Sox. My findings are as follows.
I based my findings upon wins. In wins, the Cubs average 4 walks per game. In losses, the average number of walks drops to just 2.67 per game. However, I wanted to dissect the numbers more than that, so I went ahead and based it upon the number of runs the Cubs scored.
When the Cubs score 0-2 runs, they average 3 walks per game, and take an average of 3.85 pitches per at-bat. This includes two games in which the Cubs had no walks at all. There are 23 games in which the Cubs scored 0-2 runs. They have won only two of these games, one of them in Atlanta early in the season and the other game being the recent pitching duel against the Dodgers. Remember, this does not include Saturday's Cubs-White Sox game.
When the Cubs score 3-5 runs, they average 2.68 walks per game, and take an average of 3.80 pitches per at-bat. This is due to several low-walk games where the Cubs scored the number of runs that made the game fall into this category. In 22 games in which the Cubs scored 3-5 runs, they won 11 and lost 11
When the Cubs score 6-8 runs, the number of pitches per at-bat remains constant, at 3.79, but the number of walks per game rises to 4. This means the Cubs are getting more runners on base due to the number of walks taken. Not surprisingly, the Cubs' win-loss record is above .500 here ... 7 wins, 2 losses in 2010.
When the Cubs score more than 9 runs, the pitches per at-bat rises to 3.89, the highest average of all four groups. Also, the number of walks taken by Cubs batters rises to 5 walks per game. Of the seven games in 2010 in which the Cubs scored over nine runs, they have won all seven.
So, my findings support the theory that in order to raise the runs per game total, the Cubs need to be more patient, and take more pitches. By doing this, the Cubs make the opposing team's pitchers work harder in order to record outs, and the greater number of baserunners increases the Cubs' chances of scoring runs. The batting average with runners (to be abandoned) in scoring position, now this is something I did not calculate.
Please be patient while batting, Cubs. Even the stats show this. The more patient the Cubs are, the greater chance things will turn around.