I don't really need to say anything else about last night's game, so I won't.
Instead, I'll talk about a useless stat Jayson Stark made up called "runs not scored". Runs Not Scored is Runs Scored subtracted from Times On Base. Stark notes that Ichiro didn't score many runs for a guy who was on base so much, and wonders who else in history has had such problems.
Ordinarily I'd ignore such a stat, because "RNS" is misleading: it sounds like you're measuring a bad thing, but it's actually a good thing. Teams that have a lot of RNS usually have a lot of runs scored too, because they have a lot of baserunners overall.
But I was certain that last year's A's team must have had a ton of Runs Not Scored, so I was curious to see just how much.
We Bay Area baseball fans saw an awful lot of runners left on base last year. The 2004 A's had 1,415 RNS, which was second only to Barry Bonds the Giants, who had 1,427. The Giants' total was 16th all time, while the A's total was tied for 35th all time.
That's not quite as many as New York fans saw in 1999, though. The '99 Mets had 1,465 (2nd all time), while the Yankees had 1,441 (12th all time).
This year's A's team does not actually have this "problem"; the 2005 A's are actually tied for 16th in RNS with 124. (The Yankees are first with 150.) The problem with this year's A's, despite Eric Chavez being 0-for-15 with RISP, is not so much driving in runners; it's getting enough of them on base in the first place.
The all-time record for team RNS is held by the 1989 Boston Red Sox, who had 1,476. Below, I'll put a list of the top 50 all-time teams for RNS. You'll notice that most of these teams were good teams. Only 12 of the top 50 teams were below .500.