Game: Toronto at New York Yankees, August 29 (box, 8-5 Blue Jays win)
Situation: Top 8, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Toronto up 5-4
Pitcher: Cody Eppley
Batter: Jeff Mathis
Runner on 3rd: Yunel Escobar
Leverage index: 2.0
Win probability added: +3.8%
Backup catcher alert!
The Jays do everything right here. Good bunt, good break off third. Toronto hasn’t run the most squeeze plays this year, but they’ve been remarkably efficient at it, scoring 6 times and only failing once.
Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): +2 (+1, success; +1, 7th inning or later)
Game: New York Yankees at Toronto, May 17 (box, 4-1 Blue Jays win)
Situation: Bottom 6, one out, 0-0 count, runners at 1st/3rd, Toronto ahead 2-1
Pitcher: Cory Wade
Batter: Rajai Davis
Runner on 3rd: Ben Francisco
Leverage index: 1.71
Win probability added: -7.1%
Wow, the Blue Jays do everything wrong on this play. It’s a safety squeeze, so Davis doesn’t have to bunt if he doesn’t like the pitch. It’s a curveball, which is a good pitch to bunt, but it’s way high out of the zone. He’s fortunate to get the bunt on the ground at all, but it’s bunted hard straight back to the pitcher. The play is a safety squeeze though, so he’ll just be thrown out at first, and the Jays will move on, right? Wrong. Francisco breaks from third despite the terrible bunt. Pitcher Cory Wade picks it up and doesn’t bother even checking the runner at 3rd, giving the Jays at least a chance to score. But Francisco realizes his first mistake halfway between third and home, and puts on the brakes, allowing Wade to recover and throw home. Francisco is out by a mile. Kids, if you’re going to be wrong, be wrong decisively.
Props to the Yankees coaching staff (and broadcasters) for calling the bunt moments before it happened.
Dandy Squeeze Score (what’s this?): -2 (-1, fail; -1, terrible baserunning)