Elvis Andrus Suicide Squeeze

Game: Oakland at Texas, May 17 (box)
Situation: Bottom 6, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Score tied at 3-3
Pitcher: Brandon McCarthy
Batter: Elvis Andrus
Runner on 3rd: Craig Gentry

Leverage index: 2.4
Win probability added: +8.8%

The Athletics entered the bottom of 6th inning at Texas with a 3-2 lead, but after Mike Napoli was dispatched on strikes, a Mitch Moreland home run tied the game. Two more hits put runners at the corners with Elvis Andrus to be followed by the heart of the order. In this situation, the Rangers offense is capable of bludgeoning the opposition. Ron Washington instead opted for the squeeze, not entirely indefensible with the speedy Andrus at the plate. Andrus did not repay the faith of his manager however, bunting the first pitch in the air back toward the pitcher. Brandon McCarthy dove for the pop up and appeared to make a great catch, ensuring a double play to end the inning. Home plate umpire Laz Diaz somehow saw the play otherwise. He immediately and decisively ruled the play a trap, allowing the run to score and the inning to continue. A’s manager Bob Melvin argued vehemently and earned himself an ejection. Replays appear to support his case, and the play will be added to the campaign for increased use of technology to review umpire decisions.

For the moment, the call dramatically changed the complexion of the game. As called, the Rangers win probability increased to 77%. However, an inning ending double play would have kept the score tied going to the seventh inning, a 27 point swing in win probability. A Josh Reddick home run in the top of the seventh rectified the blown call, and the A’s retook the lead in the 10th for the win.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +4 (+1, success; +1, suicide; +1, batter reaches base; +1, right-handed pitcher; -1, bunt popped up; +1, tie game)

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