"Freakonomics" on the Rangers' 30-run line score
Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner argues that the Rangers' line score in yesterday's 30-3 win is unusual. Dubner says he would have predicted something like this:
431 056 353
But the actual line score was
000 509 0(10)6
There was a lot more clustering than Dubner would have expected.
The post went up 40 minutes ago, but already commenters are arguing that there are reasons that runs come in clusters in baseball. TWstroud makes the important point that there is a "queueing issue," in that the first 2 or 3 singles don't score right away, but instead join a "queue" that makes it easier to score future runs.
One point I'll make is that record-breaking scores are more likely to be clustered than non-record-breaking scores. Scoring 30 runs likely means you hit better than normal with runners in scoring position. That means your hits were clustered more than usual.
That is, suppose team A and team B both put 40 men on base; team A scores 20 runs, team B scores 28 runs. Team B left fewer men on base, which means more clustering of hits.
The Rangers had 29 hits and 8 walks. Scoring 30 out of 37 baserunners, you should expect few men left on base, which means the hits were clustered more than usual, which means that the runs must have been scored in bunches.