Rajai Davis Safety Squeeze / Jeff Mathis Safety Squeeze

Game: Toronto at Miami, June 23 (box, 7-1 Blue Jays win)

The Jays turn the trick twice in one game!

Situation: Top 2, one out, 1-1 count, runners at 2nd/3rd, tie game 0-0
Pitcher: Josh Johnson
Batter: Rajai Davis
Runner on 3rd: Edwin Encarnacion

Leverage index: 1.7
Win probability added: +8.3%

Back-to-back walks to start the inning put runners on first and second. The Jays bunted the runners to second and third, bringing Davis to the plate for the squeeze. That’s a lot of bunting in one inning, which I normally disapprove of, but Davis is a fast guy and pretty good bunter (37% career rate on bunting for a hit). Johnson got to the ball quickly, and a good throw might have got the runner at the plate.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +2 (+1, success; +1, tie game)

Situation: Top 9, one out, 3-1 count, runners at 2nd/3rd, Toronto up 2-1
Pitcher: Steve Cishek
Batter: Jeff Mathis
Runner on 3rd: Kelly Johnson

Leverage index: 1.1
Win probability added: +4.7%

Backup catcher alert!

The plate appearance started with runners on first and second. After the first pitch, Cishek balked, sending the runners to second and third. Extreme ground ball pitcher (55% ground ball rate, 29% fly ball rate) plus prime strikeout candidate at the plate (34% this year) equals squeeze situation.

  • Pitch 2 (1-0): Bunted foul down first base line.
  • Pitch 3 (1-1): Pitchout, no action.
  • Pitch 4 (2-1): Pitchout, no action.
  • Pitch 5 (3-1): Mathis put the bunt down. It wasn’t perfect, as it could have been tighter to the line, but it had good weight, dying in the grass. If Cishek fielded it cleanly, he might have had a play at the plate. The Florida announcers seem to indicate that Cishek isn’t a great fielder. The numbers suggest he’s a scratch defender, but small sample caveats apply.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +3 (+1, success; +1, seventh inning or later; +1, ninth inning or later)


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