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Leaving Runners On Base

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At Fungoes, official blog of the St. Louis chapter of SABR, they use the occasion of someone having finally left more runners on base than the 2010 Cardinals—the Diamondbacks, to be precise, who left an impressive 16 on base in game one of the series—to talk about that inauspicious statistic’s all-time record holders.

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Loyal reader and pal DaveBug noted that in Friday’s game against the Cardinals the Diamondbacks left 16 runners on base. He wondered about the record for a nine-inning game, since Arizona was relatively close to the maximum-possible 27.

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According to The Sporting News Baseball Record Book and Baseball-Reference.com, the record for a regulation game is 20, set in 1956 by the Yankees. As we’ve noted previously, runners left on base isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it actually has a positive correlation with runs scored. To wit: the 1956 Yankees led the league in runs and were fifth in LOB en route to winning the pennant.

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I’m beginning to think the Cardinals’ problem is, as in so many horror movies, the result of a dead, evil twin—the single-season record belongs to none other than the 1941 St. Louis Browns, who left 1,334 on base in 154 games.