Norichika Aoki Safety Squeeze

Game: Milwaukee at Miami, July 2 (box, 6-5 Brewers win)
Situation: Bottom 8, zero out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, game tied 5-5
Pitcher: Randy Choate
Batter: Norichika Aoki
Runner on 3rd: Rickie Weeks

Leverage index: 1.95
Win probability added: +6.7%

MLB.com video

Aoki strikes again! He’s 4-for-4 on the season, and three of those were in tie or one-run games. He’s a clutch squeeze performer!

After the game, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had this to say:

“I know [Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen] knows we have a good chance to do it,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “What’s he going to do?” (MLB.com recap)

After Milwaukee put runners on first and third, Aoki replaced Cesar Izturis as a pinch hitter to face the right-handed Ryan Webb. Miami countered by bringing in the lefty Choate. What I’d like to know from Roenicke is whether he chose Aoki to pinch hit specifically to put the bunt down or if he put the squeeze on after the pitching change. Aoki is a much better hitter than Izturis, especially against right-handed pitching. Against a right-handed pitcher, Aoki has a good chance of scoring the run without the bunt, which makes the squeeze even more dangerous. Against a lefty, the odds go down dramatically, and I wonder if that forced the squeeze on Roenicke.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +4 (+1, success; +1, batter reaches base; +1, seventh inning or later; +1, tie game)

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