Watch: Cuddyer's bad baserunning overshadows extension of hitting streak - Sports Illustrated

Watch: Cuddyer's bad baserunning overshadows extension of hitting streak

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The great Yogi Berra once said — or is said to have said — "You can't hit and think at the same time," but it's unclear whether his observation extended to baserunning immediately afterwards. On Thursday against the Mets, the Rockies' Michael Cuddyerprovided a data point suggesting that's the case.

With Colorado trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cuddyer led things off against New York closer Bobby Parnell by smacking a line drive to rightfield. That would have put the tying run on first base with nobody out… except that Cuddyer, who's not exactly known for his blazing speed, just kept going. Marlon Byrd got to the ball with reasonable speed and came up throwing, making a perfect one-hop peg to Omar Quintanilla, who applied the tag at second base. The play was close, but umpire Bob Davidson had no doubt he was out:

cuddy

Who did Cuddyer think he was, Yasiel Puig? It was an aggressive play, but a lunkheaded one given that neither Cuddyer's speed nor Byrd's arm was at an extreme that made taking the extra base a good risk, and that it cost the Rockies one of their three remaining outs. Using 2013 run expectancy data from Baseball Prospectus, the average yield with a man on first and no outs is 0.83 runs, while with a man on second and no outs, it's 1.06 — but with nobody on and one out, it's down to 0.26 runs. In terms of win expectancy, the expectation with a man on first and nobody out, down by a run, is 41 percent, while with a man on second it's 62 percent — but with nobody on and one out, it drops to 8 percent. Ouch.

After Cuddyer was thrown out, Parnell whiffed Willin Rosario and induced Todd Helton to ground out, thus sending the Rockies to their third straight loss and 11th in their last 15 games. They're now 39-41, four games back in the crowded NL West race.

Baserunning aside, it's tough to blame Cuddyer for the Rockies' troubles. With three hits on Thursday, he extended his hitting streak to 24 games, the longest in the majors this year:

Player

Team

Strk Start 

End 

Games 

AVG

OBP 

SLG 

Michael Cuddyer

COL

5/28/13

6/27/13

24

39

.390

.421

.590

David Freese

STL

5/17/13

6/11/13

20

29

.382

.447

.566

Marco Scutaro

SFG

4/29/13

5/21/13

19

38

.481

.523

.646

Jose Iglesias

BOS

5/27/13

6/18/13

18

27

.422

.471

.547

Matt Carpenter

STL

5/21/13

6/9/13

18

33

.418

.489

.582

Alex Rios

CHW

5/5/13

5/24/13

18

27

.375

.423

.667

Marcell Ozuna

MIA

5/15/13

5/31/13

16

21

.356

.397

.458

Evan Longoria

TBR

5/6/13

5/22/13

16

25

.397

.451

.698

Adam LaRoche

WSN

5/2/13

5/19/13

16

21

.382

.462

.636

Kyle Seager

SEA

4/11/13

4/27/13

16

23

.390

.455

.661

It's also the longest in franchise history.:

Player

Strk Start 

End 

Games 

AVG

OBP 

SLG 

Michael Cuddyer

5/28/13

6/27/13

24

39

.390

.421

.590

Dante Bichette

5/22/95

6/18/95

23

40

.404

.422

.596

Vinny Castilla

8/9/97

9/1/97

22

32

.386

.433

.759

Larry Walker

4/25/99

5/21/99

21

41

.506

.563

1.000

Larry Walker

5/4/98

5/25/98

20

27

.342

.373

.620

Eric Young

7/18/95

8/10/95

19

32

.427

.500

.653

Dante Bichette

7/19/95

8/8/95

19

26

.333

.345

.833

Jeffrey Hammonds

5/29/00

6/21/00

18

29

.426

.475

.721

Larry Walker

6/14/99

7/3/99

18

33

.471

.513

1.057

With hits in the next three games, Cuddyer can surpass last year's longest hitting streak, Jose Reyes' 26-gamer. He's got a ways to go to catch up to Dan Uggla's 33-game streak from 2011, to say nothing of Pete Rose's modern NL record 44-gamer from 1978, and he's not even halfway to Joe DiMaggio's 56-game one from 1941.