Updated season leaders (full list)
It’s almost like Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is keeping track too, because only one week after being deposed from the top of the squeeze standings, Milwaukee pulls a safety and a suicide to move back on top of the suicidal tendencies.
Updated season leaders (full list)
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)
Game: Miami at Colorado, August 16 (box, 5-3 Rockies win)
Situation: Bottom 7, one out, 0-0 count, runner at 3rd, Colorado up 4-3
Pitcher: Ricky Nolasco
Batter: Eric Young
Runner on 3rd: Josh Rutledge
Leverage index: 1.3
Win probability added: +5.1%
I’ve watched this play several times, and I can’t say definitively that this is a safety squeeze. It looks like Rutledge is running on the pitch. The announcers call it a safety squeeze, so I’ll go with that, but we’ll say Rutledge got an aggressive break on the play.
The announcers also reference the notion that squeeze plays are most often called on the first pitch of a plate appearance. We’ll revisit this, but a quick peek at the data doesn’t exactly back the statement up. In my list for 2012, there were 43 squeeze plays called on the first pitch, 43 called on the second pitch, and 34 on later pitches. Of course, for plate appearances that end on pitches 2 or later, the squeeze might have been called for the first pitch but the first pitch didn’t result in a squeeze (foul or batter didn’t offer). At the very least, the claim that squeeze plays are most often called on the first pitch is dubious. Over the offseason I look at this again more carefully.
Another caveats: This only includes plays that ended in a bunt attempt and a few, but probably not all, busted suicide squeeze where the runner scored or was tagged out. E.g., if there was a foul ball on the first pitch, and then the squeeze was taken off for the rest of the plate appearance, those cases are not included. This probably doesn’t happen too often, but I can’t say for sure.
Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +3 (+1, success; +1, suicide; +1, right-handed pitcher)
Game: San Francisco at Colorado, August 4 (box, 11-6 Giants win)
Situation: Top 4, one out, 1-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, San Francisco up 4-0
Pitcher: Jeff Francis
Batter: Madison Bumgarner
Runner on 3rd: Brett Pill
Leverage index: 0.8
Win probability added: -3.4%
[No MLB.com video]
Pill makes an aggressive break for home, but the Rockies are ready. Francis comes off the mound like a gazelle and delivers a perfect glove flip to the plate. That’s fail #2 for Bumgarner on the season.
Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): -1 (-1, fail)