Tagged: mets

Jenrry Mejia Suicide Squeeze

Game: New York Mets at Milwaukee Brewers, September 15 (box, 9-6 Brewers win)
Situation: Top 4, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, game tied 1-1
Pitcher: Shaun Marcum
Batter: Jenrry Mejia
Runner on 3rd: Jordany Valdespin

Leverage index: 2.3
Win probability added: +3.1%

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DJ LeMahieu Suicide Squeeze

Game: Colorado at New York Mets, August 22 (box, 5-2 Rockies win)
Situation: Top 7, one out, 1-0 count, runner at 3rd, Colorado up 2-1
Pitcher: Ramon Ramirez
Batter: DJ LeMahieu
Runner on 3rd: Tyler Colvin

Leverage index: 1.7
Win probability added: +6.5%

During the analysis of another bunt play, one of the announcers said that pitchers work on the glove-flip-to-home play in spring training. I’ve never heard that before, but if it’s true, a couple of thoughts… 1) Ramirez should spend some more time on that drill. 2) They should also practice making the judgment of when to try the play and when to just pick the ball up and throw to first. Even if Ramirez successfully makes the glove-flip, Colvin is going to be safe. Take the out at first and move on.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +5 (+1, success; +1, suicide; +1, right-handed pitcher; +1, seventh inning or later; +1, batter reaches safely)

Jason Marquis Safety Squeeze Fail

Game: New York Mets at San Diego, August 5 (box, 7-3 Padres win)
Situation: Bottom 4, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, San Diego up 5-0
Pitcher: Matt Harvey
Batter: Jason Marquis
Runner on 3rd: Cameron Maybin

Leverage index: 0.2
Win probability added: -1.1%

On the safety squeeze, it’s up to the runner on third to assess the risk of the dash for the plate. Normally a bunt straight back to the pitcher is not a good one to attempt. In this case though, Maybin is a fast guy and Harvey is a rookie pitcher making his third major league start. Harvey makes a great play, and Maybin is cut down.

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

Rob Johnson Safety Squeeze

Game: New York Mets at San Francisco, July 30 (box, 8-7 Mets win)
Situation: Top 10, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, New York up 7-6
Pitcher: Clay Hensley
Batter: Rob Johnson
Runner on 3rd: Jason Bay

Leverage index: 1.2
Win probability added: +3.9%

Johnson was just called up to replace Mike Nickeas as backup catcher, and manager Terry Collins wanted to see how closely their skill sets matched up. Johnson at least gets the bunt on the ground, but this one should have been a fail. The Mets are bailed out by Hensley’s indecision. If he throws home immediately, the run is going to be cut down. If he throws to second immediately, the Giants probably turn a double play and end the inning.

The Mets already had the lead before the play, but this one turned out to be critical, as the Giants scored one in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit to 8-7, but the Mets managed to hang on for the win.

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

Juan Pierre Safety Squeeze

Game: Philadelphia at New York Mets, July 5 (box, 6-5 Mets win)
Situation: Top 6, one out, 0-0 count, runner at 3rd, game tied 4-4
Pitcher: R. A. Dickey
Batter: Juan Pierre
Runner on 3rd: Jimmy Rollins

Leverage index: 2.3
Win probability added: +4.7%

Pierre drops down an absolutely brilliant bunt, temporarily breaking a tie game.

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

Mike Nickeas Suicide Squeeze

Game: Cincinnati at New York Mets, May 16 (box, 6-3 Reds win)
Situation: Bottom 6, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 2nd/3rd, New York up 2-1
Pitcher: Mike Leake
Batter: Mike Nickeas
Runner on 3rd: Daniel Murphy

Leverage index: 1.4
Win probability added: +2%

The Mets have become squeeze happy this week. After executing successfully against the Brewers the day before, they tried their luck against the Reds. Here, they’ve got a lead and Johan Santana on the mound. An extra run might seal it for them. And with weak-hitting catcher Mike Nickeas (.186/.259/.245 career) at the plate, why not try the squeeze? The play extends the Mets’ lead to 3-1, but it goes for naught as the bullpen implodes, and they lose 6-3.

I don’t know if this is justified or not, but I don’t think of catchers as good bunters. When I imagine a good bunter, I think of a scrappy, speedy, middle infielder. Plodding catchers can’t bunt for a hit. On the other hand, there are many defense-first catchers out there. Those guys might need to have the bunt in their skill set. Nickeas does a great job here.

Continuing the theme for the week, the Mets tried a safety squeeze the next day, but the runner didn’t break for the plate. As long as the bottom half of the Mets’ lineup is exclusively sub-.200 hitters, their opposition should expect squeezes early and often.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +3 (+1, success; +1, suicide; +1, right-handed pitcher)

Cesar Izturis Fails / Ronny Cedeno Succeeds

Game: Milwaukee at New York Mets, May 14 (box, 3-1 Mets win)

It was the tale of two squeeze plays…

Situation: Top 2, one out, 1-0 count, runner at 3rd, Brewers down 1-0
Pitcher: Miguel Batista
Batter: Cesar Izturis
Runner on 3rd: Taylor Green

Leverage index: 1.5
Win probability added: -7.7%

What happens when the bunt only gets dribbled along the third base line? Nothing good for the offense:

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

Situation: Bottom 6, one out, 1-0 count, runner at 3rd, Mets up 1-0
Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo
Batter: Ronny Cedeno
Runner on 3rd: Daniel Murphy

Leverage index: 1.4
Win probability added: +3.4%

Here take some notes from Ronny Cedeno:

It’s a good thing that he got that bunt down, because Ronny is an awful hitter (.245/.288/.351 AVG/OBP/SLG career).

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +3 (+1, success; +1, suicide; +1, right-handed pitcher)