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Does Defense really win Championships?

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As I was watching the first of a three game series with the Mets, there was one thing that caught my eye in why the Mets were destroying in that particularly game. It seemed like no matter what Twins tryed to do the Mets were always one step ahead of them.

But that thing wasn't how bad worly was pitching or how well the Mets hit agianst our bullpen, but it was rather their defense.

Throughout the game Twins hit the ball hard and far all over the diamond, but each time it was recorded for an out. Willingham hit one to deep right center field that looked like a for sure double, Hicks showed some of his potential by driving a line drive to left-centerfield, Mauer hit a sharp line drive to third base, and all of these ended in the same result. Not a single one of these hits started a possible rally that could have provided some confidence for the teams and the fans.

As for the real question to this writing is, is defense the key to ,not only winning games, but a championship as well.

To help me with this I looked at the last three World Series Champions, along with the last time the Twins made the playoffs.

( WAR= Wins Above Replacement)
(dWAR=defensive Wins Above Replacement)


The 2010 San Francisco Giants World Series Starting Lineup
Cf Torres (WAR 5.1) (dWAR 1.6)
2b F. Sanchez (WAR 1.6) (dWAR -.1)
C. Posey (WAR 3.7). (dWAR .7)
Lf. Burrell (WAR 2.0) (dWAR -.4)
Rf. Ross (WAR .2) (dWAR -.1)
1b. Huff (WAR 5.4) (dWAR -.2)
3b Uribe (WAR 1.2) (dWAR .2)
Ss Renitina (WAR .4) (dWAR .1)
*The Giants also had the best overall defense in all of baseball, in 2010

2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series lineup
Ss Furcal (WAR .9) (dWAR -.3)
Cf Jay (WAR 2.9) (dWAR .8)
1b Pujols (WAR 5.4) (dWAR .1)
Rf Berkman (WAR 3.7) (dWAR -2.6)
Lf Hoilday (WAR 4.0) (dWAR -.7)
3b Freese (WAR 1.8) (dWAR 0)
C Molina (WAR 3.0) (dWAR .4)
2b Punto (WAR 1.5) (dWAR .5)
* The Cardnials had the 27th Best Defense in all of Baseball.
*The Twins had the 21st Best Defense in all of Baseball.

2012 San Fransciso Giants World Series lineup
Cf Pagan (WAR 4.1) (dWAR -.3)
2b Scutaro (WAR 2.1) (dWAR 2.1)
3b Sandoval (WAR 2.2) (dWAR -.2)
C Posey (WAR 7.4) (dWAR .5)
Rf Pence (WAR .2) (dWar -.6)
1b Belt (WAR 1.8) (dWAR -.3)
Lf Blanco (WAR 2.1) (dWAR .4)
Ss Crawford (WAR 2.5) (dWAR .2)
*The Giants had the 8th Best Defense in all of Baseball.
*The Twins had the 15th Best Defense in all of Baseball.

To put this into perspective, here is the Twins 2010 lineup for Game 1 against the Yankees in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

Cf Span (WAR 1.5) (dWAR -.1)
2b Hudson (WAR 2.7) (dWAR .8)
C Mauer (WAR 5.7) (dWAR .9)
Lf Young (WAR 1.6) (dWAR -1.9)
Dh Thome (never played defense)
1b Cuddyear (WAR .1) (dWAR-2.8)
Rf Kubel (WAR -.4) (dWAR -1.8)
3b Valencia (WAR 1.9) (dWAR .5)
Ss Hardy (WAR 1.9) (dWAR 0)
*The Twins were Ranked the 6th Best Defense in the League.

It's simply really, to win games a team must be good at hitting, pitching, and defense. But to win a championship you don't have to be the best defensive team to win it all (2011 Cardinals). Even though teams like the Giants have been in the top ten each year they won the World Series.

So my answer to this question is that defense isn't the most influential aspect of the game. The pitchers still have to throw strikes, the hitters still have to home runs. Cause after all defense doesn't score runs.

Updated 04-13-2013 at 12:30 PM by Anorthagen

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  1. glunn's Avatar
    Kinda like basketball and football, defense tends to separate the winners from the losers.
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