Game 39, Padres at Mariners

DMZ · May 20, 2007 at 12:57 pm · Filed Under Game Threads 

Germano v Hernandez. Oh yeah.

Sunday lineup of curiosity:
CF-L Ichiro
DH-B Turbo
RF-R Guillen
1B-L Broussard
3B-R Beltre
SS-R Betancourt
2B-R Lopez
C-R Burke
LF-R The Ignitor

It’s interesting, at least.


283 Responses to “Game 39, Padres at Mariners”

  1. gwangung on May 20th, 2007 5:04 pm

    I’d say it’s situational, too. I wouldn’t have Ichiro bunt, if Bloomquist was on deck.

  2. bmanuw on May 20th, 2007 5:08 pm

    Wow.. in a weeks time we have went from being one game out and having a chance to tie for division lead to being 5 games out.SEASON DONE

  3. Doc Baseball on May 20th, 2007 5:12 pm

    Bunting can lead to all the good things AuburnM suggests — it just does so at a slightly lower probability than all the good things that can happen if you hit away. And yes, it is situational — pitchers and Bloomquist should be bunting — Beltre (and Lopez) should not.

  4. Thom Jimsen on May 20th, 2007 5:13 pm

    Mets vs. Yankees on ESPN … John Maine vs. “The Yankee Clippard,” making his major-league debut.

  5. teacherrefpoet on May 20th, 2007 5:32 pm

    I’ve found the tables that show that, while a successful bunt with first-and-second and nobody out decreases (slightly…from 1.5 runs to 1.4) the amount of runs a team can expect to score in an inning, it increases (from 63% to 68%) the chances of scoring at least one run. With Broussard and Lopez coming up, and Hoffman on the mound, bunting isn’t an untenable decision…a successful bunt increases the chance of tying the game and getting past Hoffman to weaker relievers.

    Man-on-second or first-and second, nobody out, and really-need-one-run is the only time that the numbers say a bunt is a good move. I’ve recently been won over from the never-ever-bunt school to this exception.

    Of course, the guy has to do the job for the numbers to mean anything. And I don’t know why we waited until one strike to give the bunt sign. It decreased his chances of either tactic succeeding.

  6. AuburnM on May 20th, 2007 5:33 pm

    “Season over”

    Um…no. As long as we continue to get decent pitching we will stay competitive. Hitting comes and goes, which is another reason to play more small ball and advance runners!

  7. msb on May 20th, 2007 5:39 pm

    Back in my day, the M’s scored runs all the time! These kids today, they don’t understand what it’s like to hit the home runs and the extrabase hits, they think the single is sooooo cooooool.

    hey! I was sitting next to that guy!!!!

    I was also at an angle where I could watch Glenn Hoffman stand up/sit down/stand up/pace as Trevor Hoffman was putting men on base in the 9th.

  8. DMZ on May 20th, 2007 5:57 pm

    Pitching comes and goes, too.

  9. DMZ on May 20th, 2007 5:58 pm

    Run expectation’s a poor metric here. Bunting the runner over increases the team’s chances to score one run, while reducing their chances to score two or more.

    This is what Weaver was talking about.

  10. terry on May 20th, 2007 5:58 pm

    #252: sorry but the torture doesn’t end that easily….

  11. Thom Jimsen on May 20th, 2007 5:58 pm

    That’s pronounced “Waiver.”

  12. AuburnM on May 20th, 2007 6:00 pm


    And you play for a tie at home.


  13. terry on May 20th, 2007 6:02 pm

    Sparky Anderson and Earl Weaver wouldn’t have bunted…that’s good enough for me.

  14. msb on May 20th, 2007 6:03 pm

    so, the Yankees might explore releasing Giambi because they just now heard him say that he had used?

    isn’t that like the police captain in Casablanca who is shocked, shocked to discover there is gambling going on at Rick’s?

    (“your winnings, sir.”)

  15. DMZ on May 20th, 2007 6:16 pm

    Weaver would (and did) play for one run if one run would win the game.

  16. msb on May 20th, 2007 6:25 pm

    cagy fellow, that Earl.

  17. terry on May 20th, 2007 6:30 pm

    but 1 run wouldnt have in this case

  18. dw on May 20th, 2007 6:34 pm

    Run expectation’s a poor metric here. Bunting the runner over increases the team’s chances to score one run, while reducing their chances to score two or more.

    But in this case, one run would have tied the game. This is one of those rare cases where sac bunting makes sense. The fact it was Beltre up there is clouding the issue, but if it was Joe Average you’d be bunting with no outs in the ninth.

  19. dw on May 20th, 2007 6:47 pm

    And again, when you’re down one in the final inning, you play to extend first, to win second. And criticize the run expectancy table all you want, but first and second, no out to second and third, two out is the lowest possible drop in expected runs where an out is created — .05 runs (according to the 2005 table).

    This is the one situation where bunting makes the most sense. If I were the opposing team and this situation came up, I’d be playing the whole infield on the grass.

  20. joser on May 20th, 2007 6:48 pm

    The other thing about showing bunt is that it can force a repositioning of the infield which can then benefit you if you do swing away (or have one or both of the runners steal). Or, conversely, if you make your move to bunt late (as Beltre was doing) you can catch the defenders flatfooted — particularly when there are men on so they’re covering bases. The trouble is, this probably works better against AL teams. NL teams get to practice fielding bunts each time the P comes to bat, which means they do it at least a couple of times a game.

    And yeah, Beltre — everybody on the team — should be able to lay down a bunt. But we can’t rewind the tape to Spring Training or those fields in Santo Domingo or whatever, so the question in the game situation isn’t what if, but can he? And if the answer is “probably not” then you probably should be pursuing a different strategy, no matter what your philosophy of the game or tactical rules of thumb tell you. (And stats don’t help you much either, unless you have a fairly large sample of stats about outcomes when Adrian Beltre is bunting).

  21. Ralph Malph on May 20th, 2007 6:57 pm

    Beltre may be the Mariner least likely to hit a ground ball. I haven’t looked at all their numbers, but his G/F is less than one both of the last two years. He tends to hit the ball in the air.

    If he hits it deep in the air, Ellison may well be able to tag and move up to 3rd. You would have to factor that into your decision tree along with his bunting ability — which none of us here know anything about other than that he has one sacrifice in the last 4 years.

  22. joser on May 20th, 2007 7:03 pm

    Or you have Beltre show bunt early on the very first pitch, while also telling Ellison to steal 3rd. If you don’t think Beltre can actually put down the bunt, just have him show it and take the pitch — with a man on first the 3rd baseman is going to be covering the play, not his base, so even if the catcher comes up throwing they’re screwed. Now you have Ellison at 3rd, and Beltre is at worst 0-1, and can swing away to sacrifice him in.

  23. DMZ on May 20th, 2007 7:08 pm

    But in this case, one run would have tied the game.

    I’m not at all arguing that. I’m saying that when you evaluate strategy, run expectation works when your intent is to maximize run scoring, but not when you’re looking at probability of scoring a single run.

  24. Wishhiker on May 20th, 2007 7:12 pm

    That’s called ‘Managing’ Joser and you haveto havea ‘Manager’ to perform ‘Managing’ operations

  25. Ralph Malph on May 20th, 2007 7:19 pm

    According to B-Pro, win expectancy in the 9th inning, home team batting, 1st and 2nd nobody out, down by one run (using 2006 figures) is .66667.

    One out, men at 2nd and 3rd, win expectancy is .8571.


  26. JI on May 20th, 2007 7:56 pm

    I would have bunted with a good bunter. I would have bunted twice in a row with 2 good bunters. But I wouldn’t bunt with Beltre who is an inexperenced bunter because I’d prefer not to flush outs down the toilet. I suppose if it is successful you have Betancourt squeeze, because he and Lopez suck at hitting flyballs.

    The point is, we had a much better shot with Beltre swinging away in a hitters’ count then we did with him trying to lay one down, especially with two crappy hitters on deck.

  27. rockjr13 on May 20th, 2007 8:10 pm


    The numbers from 2006 come from a ridiculously small sample size. In 2006, the 9th inning, home team batting, 1st and 2nd nobody out, down by one run situation came up only six times, while the one out, men at 2nd and 3rd situation only arose 7 times.

    Your point is still valid, however. Using samples from 1977-2006, the runner and 1st and 2nd, one out situation yields a win expectancy of .514, while runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out has a win expectancy of .551. Still a better win expectancy, but not quite the jump that the 2006 numbers suggest.

  28. rockjr13 on May 20th, 2007 8:11 pm

    Even though I still think that, with Beltre at the the plate, we have a much better chance to win if we let him swing away. And definitely don’t wait until he’s in a 2-1 count to bunt… that was just idiotic.

  29. Mike G. on May 20th, 2007 9:02 pm

    Wow, bunting is such a divisive issue!

  30. kentroyals5 on May 20th, 2007 10:44 pm

    I was at the game…everyone around me was like WTF when it came to 2-1 and they asked him to square around…just ridiculous because we all know that 2 strikes on Beltre usually doesn’t bode well..especially with Yubet and Lopez on deck…once Beltre was out, the game was over.

    I thought Beltre’s reaction to getting out was being absolutely pissed at Hargrove..walked into the dugout past Hargrove and threw his helmet into the clubhouse area and continued walking…I just thought Hargrove screwed our chances by waiting until a 2-1 pitch.

    And that crowd was pretty good today…they were really pumped up for a rally and it was fun…we were able to quell all those little-leaguers from trying to get the wave going…as Mariner fans they need to get used to dissapointment

  31. Dave on May 21st, 2007 8:33 am

    Bottom 9, down by a run, runners at 1st and 2nd with no out, the home team has a .516 Win Expectancy.

    Bottom 9, down by a run, runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out, the home team has a .540 Win Expectancy.

    So, yes, a successful bunt in that situation increases the M’s chances of winning the game. But not dramatically – only by about 2.5%, and that’s assuming the bunt works.

    Basically, this one’s a coin toss – Hargrove’s not a moron for bunting and he’s not a moron for not bunting. Either call there is defendable.

    However, waiting until Beltre got into a hitters count and then asking him to bunt is just ridiculously stupid. Hargrove took a situation with a choice between two correct answers and went with C) none of the above, finding the only wrong answer in the entire spectrum of possibilities.

    That’s pretty remarkable.

  32. kentroyals5 on May 21st, 2007 11:00 am

    Dave that was exactly the point I think most intelligent baseball fans are arguing. Bunting may have been the right idea, but not on the 2-1 count.

    I also think that the increase in Win Expectancy can be somewhat negated by what 2 players are coming up to bat. With Sexson and Ibanez on the bench we basically had two of our worst regulars up at next. Thus, Beltre may have been our best chance.

    Leave it to Hargrove to find someway to make the wrong call.

  33. lemonverbena on May 21st, 2007 11:06 am

    it shouldn’t have to be pointed out, but everyone is belaboring the argument that he shouldn’t have bunted at all are forgetting that he still had the bat in his hands with two strikes. Grover saw how bad his bunt attempt was at 2-1, didn’t risk him fouling out on another bunt attempt, then Beltre swung away and popped up. that he was so desperately hamstrung with a second strike on the bunt attempt doesn’t absolve him of getting the job done when he does swing away.

    this wasn’t a managerial fuck-up, it was a player not executing.

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