Originally posted on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 12/21/11
“In this game you never know enough.”—Dale Mitchell The hit-and-run play is not highly regarded by the analytical crowd. It is considered a one-run play and, like the sacrifice bunt attempt, it garners derision from people who hate small-ball tactics. No lesser authority than Earl Weaver preached against the use of the hit-and-run play in his book, Weaver on Strategy: I don’t have a hit-and-run sign, and I believe it’s the worst play in baseball… you often give the opposition an out on the hit-and-run play. That’s because you can’t trust the pitcher to throw a strike, so the hitter is often waving weakly at a ball that’s off the plate. That usually results in a weak grounder that gets the runner to second, but the hitter is easily retired at first. Hell, you may as well bunt! Over the course of the season, only a few guys actually get hits on the hit-and-run play, because everything must go right for it to work. About the only thing you can say for the hit-and-run is that it p...
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