Tagged: giants

Gregor Blanco Safety Squeeze

Game: Miami at San Francisco, May 2 (box, 3-2 Marlins win)
Situation: Bottom 9, one out, runners at 1st/3rd, Giants down 2-1
Pitcher: Steve Cishek
Batter: Gregor Blanco
Runner on 3rd: Joaquin Arias

Leverage index: 8.1
Win probability added: +26.0%

The Giants entered the home half of the ninth inning against Miami down 2-0, but a Heath Bell meltdown later, San Francisco had a run in and runners at the corners with one out. The light-hitting, good on-base (.257/.358/.324) Gregor Blanco came to the plate. On the first pitch, Blanco layed down a beaut of a drag bunt, pulling it past the pitcher, into no man’s land between the pitcher, first base, and second base defenders. Gaby Sanchez mishandled the ball, but probably had no play at home. Played as a safety squeeze, the bunt was so perfectly placed that the run scored easily, and Blanco likely also had a hit even with a clean play on the ball. The squeeze tied the game in the ninth, but a Giancarlo Stanton homer put Miami back on top in the tenth for the victory.

Blanco is an accomplished bunter (two seasons with double digit bunt hit totals and a bunch of sac bunts to boot) and is a pronounced ground ball hitter (52%/22%/26% ground ball/line drive/fly ball rates). The situation seemed tailor made for a squeeze. I’m surprised the cagey Ozzie Guillen didn’t have his team ready although maybe the Giants don’t have a propensity for the squeeze.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +6 (+1, success; +1, batter reaches; +1, right-handed pitcher; +1, seventh inning or later; +1, ninth inning or later; +1, down one run)