Tagged: cardinals

Last weekend in squeeze: July 12 – July 14

Date (box) Batter Team Vs. Squeeze Result Video
7/12/2013 Norichika Aoki MIL @ARI Safety No go
7/12/2013 Jose Iglesias BOS @OAK Safety Fail Link
7/14/2013 Logan Schafer MIL @ARI Safety Run Link
7/14/2013 David Lough KCR @CLE Safety No go
7/14/2013 Pete Kozma STL @CHC Safety Run Link

Updated season leaders (full list)

Team Attempts Runs Scored Fails
MLB TOTAL 63 32 22
Brewers 9 6 1
Astros 8 4 4
Braves 6 4 2
Padres 6 2 3
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Pete Kozma Suicide Squeeze / Jordan Schafer Suicide Squeeze

Game: St. Louis vs. Milwaukee, 2013/5/19 (box, 4-2 Cardinals win)
Situation: Bottom 4, one out, 2-1 count, runners at 1st/3rd, St. Louis ahead 3-0
Pitcher: Kyle Lohse
Batter: Pete Kozma
Runner on 3rd: Jon Jay

Leverage index: 0.86
Win probability added: +3.0%

MLB.com video

Game: Atlanta vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 2013/5/19 (box, 5-2 Braves win)
Situation: Bottom 8, one out, 1-1 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Atlanta ahead 4-2
Pitcher: Brandon League
Batter: Jordan Schafer
Runner on 3rd: Gerald Laird

Leverage index: 0.50
Win probability added: +1.2%

MLB.com video

The only successful suicide squeeze this year was on April 13 when Marwin Gonzalez pulled the rare bases-loaded squeeze for the Astros against the Angels. Since then, the Orioles, Braves (twice!), Brewers, Angels, and Cardinals have all been burned on the suicide. Today Atlanta and St. Louis both plated insurance runs with beautifully executed plays.

Norichika Aoki Safety Squeeze

Game: Milwaukee vs. St. Louis, 2013/5/4 (box, 7-6 Brewers loss)
Situation: Bottom 8, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Milwaukee down 6-5
Pitcher: Randy Choate
Batter: Norichika Aoki
Runner on 3rd: Jeff Bianchi

Leverage index: 4.9
Win probability added: +17.2%

An eerily similar situation happened on April 14. Aoki came to the plate against Choate in a tie game in the top of the ninth with runners at the corners. That time, Aoki tried twice to drop a bunt down but popped it up. He gets his revenge here, with some serious help from Bianchi’s great slide.

Also note that the Brewers reclaimed their place at the top of Suicidal Tendencies with this play.

Carlos Gomez Safety Squeeze

Game: Milwaukee at St. Louis, September 8 (box, 6-3 Brewers win)
Situation: Top 2, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, game tied 0-0
Pitcher: Jake Westbrook
Batter: Carlos Gomez
Runner on 3rd: Aramis Ramirez

Leverage index: 1.7
Win probability added: -0.8%

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

Adam Wainwright Suicide Squeeze Fail / Alcides Escobar Safety Squeeze Fail

Game: Kansas City at St. Louis, June 17 (box, 5-3 Royals win in 14 innings)

The Cards and Royals celebrate Father’s Day with dueling failed squeeze plays in a 14 inning game! Let’s go to the videotape!

Situation: Bottom 5, zero out, 0-1 count, runners at 2nd/3rd, St. Louis down 1-0
Pitcher: Luis Mendoza
Batter: Adam Wainwright
Runner on 3rd: Tyler Greene

Leverage index: 2.2
Win probability added: -18.9%

It’s a tough pitch to bunt, a slider down and a foot outside, and Wainwright can’t make contact. He should have thrown the bat at it.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): -2 (-1, fail; -1, missed bunt)

Situation: Top 11, zero out, 1-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, game tied at 2-2
Pitcher: Victor Marte
Batter: Alcides Escobar
Runner on 3rd: Jeff Francoeur

Leverage index: 2.5
Win probability added: -23.3%

Escobar bunted this one too hard, but most of the credit goes to Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig for getting to the ball quickly and cutting down the go-ahead run. Kudos to the Royals for the gumption to call for the squeeze in extras. All they got for their trouble though was the most costly fail of the season (-23% WPA).

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): -1 (-1, fail)

Rafael Furcal Safety Squeeze

Game: St. Louis at Houston, June 7 (box, 14-2 Cardinals win)
Situation: Top 3, one out, 1-1 count, runners at 2nd/3rd, St. Louis up 2-0
Pitcher: J.A. Happ
Batter: Rafael Furcal
Runner on 3rd: Tyler Greene

Leverage index: 1.8
Win probability added: +8.2%

MLB.com video

Since 2002, Furcal has 94 bunt hits, the fourth most in baseball, reaching at a 36% clip. If the bunt here is just a sacrifice to score the run (with a minor benefit of moving another runner to third with two outs), the offense is going to be happy. But with a bunter of Furcal’s prowess, there’s a good chance of not even giving up the out. It plays out perfectly for the Cards here, Furcal squeezes in the run and is safe at first. With the heart of the order following, they tack on a couple more runs and take command of the game.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +2 (+1, success; +1, batter reaches base)