Lots of people seem to think that the Royals using bunts and stolen bases to be Oakland in the wild card game is proof that Moneyball and advanced statistics are overblown. Some have even proclaimed this as the return of small ball and the end of this “fad”.
But, if advanced stats have taught us anything, it’s that a single game sample size is basically meaningless. A one game playoff comes down, basically, to luck. The Royals caught an Oakland team who’s bullpen had a bad night. No different than the Pirates catching Bumgarner on a night where he was almost unbeatable. Do you really think if the Giants and Pirates played a 7 game series, or longer, that every game would end with a Giants rout? We shouldn’t assume that the A’s would always lose to the Royals either.
So, KC fans, enjoy your win and I’m looking forward to having the Royals back on the big stage, but let’s not declare the victory of small ball over the results of one game.