Tagged: rays

This week in squeeze: July 15 – August 1

Alternatively titled “Where have all the squeeze plays gone?” A Kyle Seager safety against the shift* ended a streak of two weeks of squeezeless baseball.

I can’t believe this doesn’t happen more often.

Date (box) Batter Team Vs. Squeeze Result Video
7/24/2013 Ben Zobrist TBR @BOS Safety No go
7/26/2013 Andrelton Simmons ATL STL Safety No go
8/1/2013 Kyle Seager SEA @BOS Safety Run Link

Updated season leaders (full list)

Team Attempts Runs Scored Fails
MLB TOTAL 66 33 22
Brewers 9 6 1
Astros 8 4 4
Braves 7 4 2
Padres 6 2 3

Jose Molina Safety Squeeze Fail

Game: Tampa Bay vs. Toronto, 2013/5/7 (box, 6-4 Rays loss)
Situation: Bottom 2, zero out, 0-1 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Tampa Bay down 1-0
Pitcher: J.A. Happ
Batter: Jose Molina
Runner on 3rd: Sean Rodriguez

Leverage index: 2.2
Win probability added: -7.3%

This is pretty clearly a blown call… Bring in the robot umpires?

Matt Moore Safety Squeeze

Game: Tampa Bay at Miami, June 9 (box, 13-4 Rays win)
Situation: Top 2, zero out, 2-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Tampa Bay up 3-0
Pitcher: Carlos Zambrano
Batter: Matt Moore
Runner on 3rd: Elliot Johnson

Leverage index: 0.84
Win probability added: -0.1%

MLB.com video

Matt Moore joins the Corey Brown Club, delivering a squeeze before his first major league hit. Not only that, Moore’s squeeze was his first professional plate appearance, having never batted in the minors or an interleague game prior to Saturday. It wasn’t as smooth as it looks in the clip though. Rays manager Joe Maddon explained after the game that Moore missed the bunt sign on the first two pitches (last 20 seconds of interview).

One other note: it was surprising to me that win probability was neutral to a run scoring play (without the game being totally out of hand). Of course, the win probability tables don’t know that Matt Moore is making his first professional plate appearance.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +2 (+1, success; +1, AL pitcher batting)

Sean Rodriguez Safety Squeeze

Game: Baltimore at Tampa Bay, June 1 (box, 5-0 Rays win)
Situation: Bottom 1, one out, 0-1 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Tampa Bay up 2-0
Pitcher: Wei-Yin Chen
Batter: Sean Rodriguez
Runner on 3rd: Ben Zobrist

Leverage index: 1.4
Win probability added: +2.3%

(second highlight in package)

This is the third time this season that Tampa has called for Sean Rodriguez to bunt with runners at the corners and one out:

  • April 6 vs. New York: The bunt goes straight into the dirt, and the runner at third wisely holds.
  • May 2 vs. Seattle: The bunt gets off the dirt, but the pitcher is on top of it, and the runner is thrown out at the plate.
  • June 1 vs. Baltimore: Success! The bunt is down the line, and the pitcher only has the play at first.

All three bunts were on the second pitch of the plate appearance.

It’s unusual to play for one run in the first inning, so not surprisingly this was the first squeeze of the season called in the first inning. It was only the second time Tampa has called for any sac bunt in the first inning, both by Rodriguez.

Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +1 (+1, success)

Elliot Johnson Safety Squeeze

Game: Atlanta at Tampa Bay, May 18 (box)
Situation: Bottom 2, one out, 0-1 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Tampa Bay up 2-0
Pitcher: Tommy Hanson
Batter: Elliot Johnson
Runner on 3rd: Luke Scott

Leverage index: 2.8
Win probability added: +8.2%

A beautiful bunt by Johnson, and there’s nothing Atlanta can do to stop the run from scoring.

Amazing mutton chops by Luke Scott. Fitting too. 19th century facial hair on a guy with 19th century attitudes.

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

Sean Rodriguez Failed Safety Squeeze

Game: Seattle at Tampa Bay, May 2 (box, 5-4 Rays win)
Situation: Bottom 6, one out, 1-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Tampa Bay up 5-4
Pitcher: Erasmo Ramirez
Batter: Sean Rodriguez
Runner on 3rd: Will Rhymes

Leverage index: 1.8
Win probability added: -6.7%

Rodriguez’s bunt is a little too straight at the pitcher, and the Mariners make a nice play to cut down Rhymes at home to keep it a one-run game.

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