We have spent time at practice speaking of the importance of making the routine plays and making our opponents earn each 90ft they get. Here is a great article from Creighton pitching coach Rob Smith about free bases.
If you look at Football, the number one statistic that announcers and coaches talk about is the turnover margin. The team who does better in this category will tend to win more games. Why? It’s simple. The more times you give the other team the ball, the more opportunities they have to score.
In baseball, a free base does the same. If you give a team a free base with out making them earn it with a hit, then you are in a sense increasing their chances to score runs they may not have otherwise earned. What is a free base? It is any base that is given to the opponent that they did not otherwise earn.
There are seven free bases that you can track and follow to see where your team stands in the area. They are as follows: Base on balls (Walk), Hit by pitch, Balk, Wild Pitch, Passed Ball, Error, Stolen Base Allowed.
Two other possible free bases are catcher’s interference and trail runners allowed to advance.
The top three teams in all of major league baseball two years ago at FB/9 were (in order)Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, and Boston Red Sox.
Interestingly enough, the two teams that tied for the best overall winning percentage in all of baseball last season were the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox and Rockies played in the World Series.
The key to winning baseball: NO FREE BASES! Make them earn it!
Here is the link to the article with more info and statistics: http://www.insidepitching.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=721