Tagged: astros

This week in squeeze: August 2 – August 8

After a couple quiet weeks on the squeeze front, the baseball gods smile on us with seven tries, including four suicides and a safety squeeze by noted bunt detractors, the Oakland Athletics, that led to insulting a pregnant woman on Twitter!

Date (box) Batter Team Vs. Squeeze Result Video
8/3/2013 Eric Sogard OAK TEX Safety Run Link
8/3/2013 Josh Harrison PIT COL Suicide Run Link
8/4/2013 Taylor Jordan WSN @MIL Safety Run Link
8/4/2013 Jeff Bianchi MIL WSN Suicide Run Link
8/5/2013 Brandon Barnes HOU BOS Suicide Run Link
8/5/2013 Tyler Thornburg MIL @SFG Suicide Fail Link
8/8/2013 Carlos Ruiz PHI CHC Safety Run Link

Updated season leaders (full list)

Team Attempts Runs Scored Fails
MLB TOTAL 73 39 23
Brewers 11 7 2
Astros 9 5 4
Braves 7 4 2
Padres 6 2 3

This week in squeeze: July 5 – July 11

Date (box) Batter Team Vs. Squeeze Result Video
7/8/2013 Jonathan Herrera COL @SDP Safety Run Link
7/9/2013 Eric Stults SDP COL Safety Fail Link
7/10/2013 Jordan Lyles HOU @STL Safety Fail Link

Updated season leaders (full list)

Team Attempts Runs Scored Fails
MLB TOTAL 58 30 21
Astros 8 4 4
Brewers 7 5 1
Braves 6 4 2
Padres 6 2 3

This week in squeeze: June 21 – June 27

The squeeze of the week has to be Thursday’s safety by the Diamondbacks in extra innings at Washington. With runners at the corners and one out, Didi Gregorius dragged a pitch on the outside corner with him up the first base line. The bunt was perfectly placed, giving the Nationals no chance to catch A.J. Pollock racing home from third, and Gregorius beat the play at first. At a leverage index of 5.4, this was the most critical situation that a squeeze has been run this season. The play increased the D-backs win expectancy by 18%, tying the highest positive WPA in 2013.

Date (box) Batter Team Vs. Squeeze Result Video
6/21/2013 Julio Teheran ATL @MIL Safety Fail Link
6/22/2013 Ronny Cedeno HOU @CHC Safety Run Link
6/22/2013 Barry Zito SFG MIA Safety Fail Link
6/27/2013 Didi Gregorius ARI @WSN Safety Run Link

Updated season leaders (full list)

Team Attempts Runs Scored Fails
MLB TOTAL 51 26 18
Astros 7 4 3
Brewers 6 4 1
Braves 5 3 2
Padres 5 2 2

This week in squeeze: June 14 – June 20

It was an eventful week for San Diego with two squeeze attempts. Against the Giants in extra innings, they called on starting pitcher Andrew Cashner to pinch hit, and he dropped down a beauty to take the lead. A couple days later against the Giants, they tried to tack on run late but instead got some first hand evidence that Adrian Gonzalez is awesome defensively.

Date (box) Batter Team Vs. Squeeze Result Video
6/16/2013 Jordan Schafer ATL SFG Suicide Run Link
6/16/2013 Johnny Cueto CIN MIL Suicide Run Link
6/17/2013 Alcides Escobar KCR @CLE Safety Fail Link
6/17/2013 Andrew Cashner SDP @SFG Safety Run Link
6/18/2013 Marwin Gonzalez HOU MIL Safety Run Link
6/20/2013 Will Venable SDP LAD Safety Fail Link

Updated season leaders (full list)

Team Attempts Runs Scored Fails
MLB TOTAL 47 24 16
Brewers 6 4 1
Astros 6 3 3
Padres 5 2 2
Braves 4 3 1

Trevor Crowe Safety Squeeze Fail

Game: Houston vs. Anaheim, 2013/5/8 (box, 3-1 Astros win)
Situation: Bottom 8, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Houston ahead 3-1
Pitcher: Dane De La Rosa
Batter: Trevor Crowe
Runner on 3rd: Jimmy Paredes

Leverage index: 0.5
Win probability added: -1.9%

It seems like just yesterday that a runner avoided a swipe tag with a dive into home with the umpire ruling incorrectly that he failed to touch the plate leading to the catcher chasing him down for the out.

Franklin Gutierrez Safety Squeeze

Game: Seattle vs. Houston, 2013/4/8 (box, 3-0 Mariners win)
Situation: Bottom 5, one out, 2-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Seattle up 2-0
Pitcher: Philip Humber
Batter: Franklin Gutierrez
Runner on 3rd: Dustin Ackley

Leverage index: 1.15
Win probability added: 3.8%

Along with Seattle color guy Mike Blowers, I wonder if Gutierrez did this on his own. It looks like he’s bunting for a hit. Then again, Fangraphs says he’s only got 11 bunt hits out of 625 for his career. In any case, great job by Ackley to read the play and score.

John Jaso Safety Squeeze

Game: Oakland at Houston, 2013/4/5 (box, 8-3 Athletics win)
Situation: Top 5, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Oakland up 3-0
Pitcher: Xavier Cedeno
Batter: John Jaso
Runner on 3rd: Josh Reddick

Leverage index: 0.97
Win probability added: 3.4%

MLB.com video

And the first squeeze of the year is called by . . . Oakland? Team Moneyball is known for their reluctance to play small ball and give away outs. The Houston TV team wondered if affinity for this play (the 1st/3rd squeeze) was brought by Jaso from Tampa. Tampa did finish #2 on the Suicidal Tendencies list last year.

In any case, the squeeze is a rarity by Oakland. Below are the number of sacrifice bunts the A’s have run in the Billy Beane era. After Beane’s conversion to statistical analysis (~2000), the A’s have only been above league in sac hits once, in 2010 (AL average ~35-38 per year).

1998 58
1999 39
2000 26
2001 25
2002 20
2003 22
2004 25
2005 19
2006 25
2007 18
2008 30
2009 31
2010 43
2011 34
2012 27

Only six of those were with a runner on third (scoring runs on all 6). One of those (2008-05-16 vs Atlanta) might not have even been a squeeze with Dana Eveland, a pitcher, at the plate and runners at 1st/3rd. The play was probably just to move the runner from first to second base with the run scoring on a throwing error.

Of course, the best time for a squeeze is when the opposition isn’t expecting it. So perhaps the last 12 years have lulled the league into a false sense of security.

One other note… The A’s executed a safety squeeze at the end of spring training.