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.
Updated season leaders (full list)
Updated season leaders (full list)
Game: Seattle vs. Texas, 2013/4/11 (box, Mariners loss 4-3)
Situation: Bottom 8, one out, 1-1 count, runner at 3rd, Seattle down 4-3
Pitcher: Robbie Ross
Batter: Brendan Ryan
Runner on 3rd: Endy Chavez
Leverage index: 4.8
Win probability added: -23.0%
It’s an early contender for worst fail of the season at 23% win probability lost!
Game: Boston at Texas, July 25 (box, 5-3 Rangers win)
Situation: Bottom 4, one out, 1-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Texas down 2-1
Pitcher: Josh Beckett
Batter: Craig Gentry
Runner on 3rd: David Murphy
Leverage index: 2.1
Win probability added: +1.5%
Oh, so pretty!
Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +4 (+1, success; +1, suicide; +1, right-handed pitcher; +1, down one run)
Leverage index: 1.94
Win probability added: +7.1%
I’d really like to see some stats on Vizquel’s bunting in the late ’90s when he was batting second for those stacked Cleveland teams. Alas, Fangraphs’ bunting data only goes back to 2002. In my mind, they’re all like this one: right down the line, leaving the pitcher flailing.
Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +2 (+1, success; +1, batter reaches base)
Leverage index: 2.4
Win probability added: +8.8%
The Athletics entered the bottom of 6th inning at Texas with a 3-2 lead, but after Mike Napoli was dispatched on strikes, a Mitch Moreland home run tied the game. Two more hits put runners at the corners with Elvis Andrus to be followed by the heart of the order. In this situation, the Rangers offense is capable of bludgeoning the opposition. Ron Washington instead opted for the squeeze, not entirely indefensible with the speedy Andrus at the plate. Andrus did not repay the faith of his manager however, bunting the first pitch in the air back toward the pitcher. Brandon McCarthy dove for the pop up and appeared to make a great catch, ensuring a double play to end the inning. Home plate umpire Laz Diaz somehow saw the play otherwise. He immediately and decisively ruled the play a trap, allowing the run to score and the inning to continue. A’s manager Bob Melvin argued vehemently and earned himself an ejection. Replays appear to support his case, and the play will be added to the campaign for increased use of technology to review umpire decisions.
For the moment, the call dramatically changed the complexion of the game. As called, the Rangers win probability increased to 77%. However, an inning ending double play would have kept the score tied going to the seventh inning, a 27 point swing in win probability. A Josh Reddick home run in the top of the seventh rectified the blown call, and the A’s retook the lead in the 10th for the win.
Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +4 (+1, success; +1, suicide; +1, batter reaches base; +1, right-handed pitcher; -1, bunt popped up; +1, tie game)