Tagged: phillies

This week in squeeze: August 9 – August 15

The squeeze of the week has to be Jeff Bianchi’s safety “attempt” with Jean Segura on third against the Rangers. The play goes in the scoresheet as a steal of home for Segura, but that doesn’t tell half the story. Bianchi treated the play like a safety squeeze, pulling the bat back on a pitch high and outside. Segura played it very aggressively (I wonder if he thought it was a suicide), getting caught way down the third base line. Thanks to some nifty moves and the Rangers misexecuting the rundown, the Brewers score anyway.

This doesn’t even qualify as Segura’s most interesting baserunning of the season, as he “stole first” earlier this year.

Date (box) Batter Team Vs. Squeeze Result Video
8/8/2013 Carlos Ruiz PHI CHC Safety Run Link
8/9/2013 Craig Gentry TEX @HOU Suicide Run Link
8/10/2013 Cliff Lee PHI @WSN Safety Run Link
8/10/2013 Bryce Harper WSN PHI Safety Run Link
8/13/2013 Jeff Bianchi MIL @TEX Safety Fail/Run Link

Updated season leaders (full list)

Team Attempts Runs Scored Fails
MLB TOTAL 76 43 23
Brewers 12 8 2
Astros 9 5 4
Braves 7 4 2
Padres 6 2 3
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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

Gerardo Parra Safety Squeeze

Game: Arizona vs. Philadelphia, 2013/5/9 (box, 2-1 Diamondbacks win)
Situation: Bottom 6, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Arizona ahead 1-0
Pitcher: Cole Hamels
Batter: Gerardo Parra
Runner on 3rd: Cody Ross

Leverage index: 1.7
Win probability added: +3.2%

MLB.com video

For his career, Ryan Howard has cost his teams about 25 runs in the field over ~1100 games according to Fangraphs (Baseball Reference has him at -40 runs for his career). Defensively, he’s like the negative Doug Mientkiewicz. The amount that people thought that Doug Mientkiewicz was good playing at first base, Ryan Howard is bad at playing first base (Mientkiewicz’s numbers: Fangraphs +28 runs fielding, BR -40 runs fielding). My point, other than ragging on Ryan Howard’s defensive ability, is that Gerardo Parra is pretty smart when it comes to where to bunt on a safety squeeze.

Juan Pierre and Ty Wigginton Safety Squeeze Fail

Game: Cincinnati at Philadelphia, August 21 (box, 5-4 Reds win)
Situation: Bottom 7, one out, 0-1 count, runners at 2nd/3rd, game tied 3-3
Pitcher: Sean Marshall
Batter: Juan Pierre
Runner on 3rd: Ty Wigginton

Leverage index: 2.85
Win probability added: -15.0%

The way this play unfolds, it looks like Wigginton is surprised that the squeeze is on. He has no lead off third, and then gets no secondary lead on the pitch. Pierre puts down a pretty good bunt, but by the time Marshall fields the ball, Wigginton is still 50 feet from the plate.

I don’t really understand this play call. Pierre’s main skill, along with bunting,  is slapping singles around. With runners on 2nd/3rd, (and faster runner Jimmy Rollins on 2nd) a single scores two runs. Pierre is not much of a threat to drive in a run with a sacrifice fly (low fly ball rate, low power). With a slow runner like Wigginton on 3rd, a ground ball is unlikely to score a run, but that’s essentially what a safety squeeze is. With Pierre at the plate in this situation, take advantage of his bunting skill with the suicide squeeze or play it straight up.

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

Martin Maldonado and Corey Hart Safety Squeeze Fail

Game: Milwaukee at Philadelphia, July 25 (box, 7-6 Phillies win)
Situation: Top 9, zero out, 1-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Game tied 5-5
Pitcher:  Jonathan Papelbon
Batter: Martin Maldonado
Runner on 3rd: Corey Hart

Leverage index: 2.6
Win probability added: -23.9%

[No MLB.com video]

When I saw that the Brewers tried to take the lead in the 9th inning of a tie game. I was not surprised.

When I saw that the Brewers called for Martin Maldonado to squeeze in the 9th inning of a tie game, I was not surprised.

When I saw that MLB.com did not have a highlight clip available for viewing, I was very surprised.

Let me tell you why they don’t have a clip of this play available: this is the most boring squeeze attempt that’s ever taken place. Maldonado put the bunt down, and it went straight back to the pitcher. Hart broke late from third base, and apparently he’s very slow now, because by the time Papelbon picked it up, he was not even half way down the line. Realizing he was toast, Hart stopped and made a pathetic attempt at returning to third. Very disappointing stuff from the league’s squeeze leaders.

This was actually the second potential squeeze of the game for the Brewers. They called for a safety squeeze in the second inning, but the runner (wisely) didn’t risk it that time.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): -4 (-1, fail; -1, seventh inning or later; -1, ninth inning or later; -1, tie game)

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)

Juan Pierre Suicide Squeeze

Game: Washington at Philadelphia, May 23 (box, 3-0 Phillies win)
Situation: Bottom 7, one out, 0-1 count, runner at 3rd, Philadelphia up 2-0
Pitcher: Edwin Jackson
Batter: Juan Pierre
Runner on 3rd: Mike Fontenot

Leverage index: 0.66
Win probability added: +1.8%

Despite earning $55 million in his career, Juan Pierre has really only been good at two things: 1) wearing a cap under his helmet and 2) bunting. As an everyday player, he’s basically good for 20 bunt hits per year. So when you see Juan Pierre at the plate with a runner on third with less than two outs, it’s just good sense to call for the suicide squeeze. Pierre was promptly taken out of the game for defense after this play.

In other news, based on the videos available from this game, you’d think that it was a one-on-one matchup between Cole Hamels and Bryce Harper.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +4 (+1, success; +1, suicide; +1, right-handed pitcher; +1, seventh inning or later)