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WVRedsFan
07-26-2007, 11:38 PM
Just so that I don't appear to be crazy, but in today's game, Hatteberg had singled to get on first and Freel was up. Mac asked Freel to bunt him over and he did. The problem was that Griffey was up next and, as expected, the Brewers walked him, taking the bat out of his hand--one that was hot, I might add. With Phillips batting behind him, the opposition chose to take their chances with Phillips instead of Griffey. Brandon hit the ball back to the box and it resulted in a double play.

What would you have done? I don't bunt in that situation, and I said that at the time. I let Griffey hit by letting Freel hit. I don't think the bunt is appropriate every time you have a runner on first in the late innings, but old school says you do. No one has said much about this and Mac has done it at least twice this week. If Jerry Narron had done it, it would have been all over RedsZone.

Reds1
07-27-2007, 12:09 AM
If it works we all applaud and it didn't so you always get that doubt. Mac could have though Griffey was slumping (before today) and Phillips is hard to double up and a good contact hitter, etc. Who knows. It didn't work so I guess I wouldn't have done it. :) Good points though.

WVRedsFan
07-27-2007, 12:17 AM
If it works we all applaud and it didn't so you always get that doubt. Mac could have though Griffey was slumping (before today) and Phillips is hard to double up and a good contact hitter, etc. Who knows. It didn't work so I guess I wouldn't have done it. :) Good points though.

Yeah. If it had worked, we'd have been talking about Mac's genius I guess. I just have trouble with always bunting in that situation. After I think about it, he was probably more concerned with Freel hitting into a DP. I just thought it was strange in that situation since it has happened before.

Reds1
07-27-2007, 12:35 AM
I'm with you. I don't like giving a way a free out even though I understand the logic. I guess I just always feel the reds have hit poorly with runners in scoring position so why give a free out and just give another person a chance for a hit or a HR. Not that Freel would hit the HR. What I like about Mac as he goes on instinct and doesn't always seem to do the same thing. If he has a feeling or someone is hot he might go against the grain. I personally like that. Pure-ist (sp) may hate it.

TOBTTReds
07-27-2007, 12:48 AM
I agree with what happened. Get the guy to 2nd. Freel has been in an overall slump, and Phillips has not. You are taking the bat out of the hands of Griffey who hit well today, and in general. BUT, what would you rather have, Griffey up with a man on 1st, 1 out (say Freel makes a worthless out), or Phillips up with 1st and 2nd, 1 out. I take the latter. Of course Freel could have gotten on, but I think he would have the same chance of getting on base with a bunt as swinging away.

SteelSD
07-27-2007, 12:55 AM
With an absolute scenario forthcoming, there's nothing at all wrong with that sac bunt. The Reds were playing for one Run- as they should have. You've got a solid hitter coming up next after Griffey is walked (which is the predicted outcome of the bunt). Then you've got Phillips and possibly Dunn coming up.

WVRedsFan
07-27-2007, 01:07 AM
I'm with you. I don't like giving a way a free out even though I understand the logic. I guess I just always feel the reds have hit poorly with runners in scoring position so why give a free out and just give another person a chance for a hit or a HR. Not that Freel would hit the HR. What I like about Mac as he goes on instinct and doesn't always seem to do the same thing. If he has a feeling or someone is hot he might go against the grain. I personally like that. Pure-ist (sp) may hate it.

You have to admire Mac for some of his moves and I guess every manger does something boneheaded from time to time. so far, he's kept those to a minimum.

But if...and it's a big but if...Dunn had been hitting fourth, they may have pitched to Griffey, but I doubt it. Phillips, as much as I like him and feel like he's going to be special, is fool's gold at the 4 position. And I feel Freel is the same at the 2 position, but it all worked out today and that's the main objective I guess.

My biggest fear is that this run will influence Krivsky and Cstellini to not search for a championship manager. In fact, my guess is they've already stopped. History repeats itself and I only hope that this time it's the right move.

Johnny Footstool
07-27-2007, 01:07 AM
With Freel at the plate, I don't mind it so much, because he has a better than average chance of beating the throw to first.

With any one else who isn't a pitcher, I don't like the move.

WVRedsFan
07-27-2007, 01:10 AM
With an absolute scenario forthcoming, there's nothing at all wrong with that sac bunt. The Reds were playing for one Run- as they should have. You've got a solid hitter coming up next after Griffey is walked (which is the predicted outcome of the bunt). Then you've got Phillips and possibly Dunn coming up.

The only problem with that is Brandon's impatience at the plate, which is probably known throughout the league by now. His hacking tendencies mean he might not hit the best pitch, though he's been successful thus far. I hate to give up outs and Freel is such a streaky guy, maybe he was just trying to avoid the DP. Unfortunately, he didn't avoid it and we headed to extras.

camisadelgolf
07-27-2007, 02:40 AM
A runner on first with no one out has a better chance of scoring than a runner on second with one out. However, if the runner on first were particularly fast, I'd be tempted to try to bunt him to second.

dougdirt
07-27-2007, 02:43 AM
I am hardly ever for sac bunting, but in that situation, you should. You only need 1 run to win the game. Its different if its before the 8th inning, because 1 run doesn't mean as much at those times.

They chose to walk Griffey. Who is the next guy I want at the plate? Probably Brandon Phillips. I would do it every time in the given situation.

oneupper
07-27-2007, 08:07 AM
I’ve been reading “The Book” by tangotiger et al. They have a whole chapter dedicated to sacrifice bunts and here’s the conclusion about this situation:


“In the ninth inning of a close game, below average hitters should bunt most of the time, given typical speed and bunting ability. Average hitters should bunt about half of the time. Above average hitters should rarely bunt. The speed of the lead runner appears to be a significant factor in the success or failure of the sacrifice attempt in the ninth inning, and as always, the speed and proficiency of the batter should be strongly considered”.

So with a good bunter and below average hitter (Freel) at the plate and Hat on first (who isn’t as slow as David Ross), you would probably bunt DESPITE the fact that your Win Expectancy is reduced from about 72.2% to 70.7% (it then goes back to 71.7% with the IBB). In any case, even with these players (Freel and Hat) it’s hardly a non-brainer.

“The Book” of course, doesn’t take into account who the next hitters are.

Ken Griffey has on OPS of .971 vs. RHP this year. Brandon Phillips’ is .719. Brandon Phillips has DP tendencies, with about a 20% chance of hitting into a DP (possibly higher against RHP).

So here’s the choice (simplified assuming Freel will always be successful with the bunt – the average is about 60%)

30% chance of Griffey with 0 outs, two men on (one possibly on third)
70% chance of Griffey with 1 out, man on first

vs.

Brandon Phillips with men on first and second, one out.

I believe (haven’t done it) you run a simulation based on possible outcomes and the probabilities of scoring a run given all the variables (pitcher, sequence of batters, etc…), It'd give a slight nod to the first set.
So, I wouldn’t bunt, but again…its close.

Of course I would also never bat Brandon Phillips between Griffey and Dunn (but that’s a whole different issue).

That said, there are situations where should NEVER bunt. Such as the 10th inning with a man on second, no outs, Kepp up. Kepp showed bunt on the first pitch, but then swung away. I’ll give Mac credit for that, but he really wanted to….

I would also NEVER bunt with EE, who has shown no proficiency at it (some players simply CANT).

bucksfan2
07-27-2007, 09:06 AM
I bunt. You are basically forcing the issue and it breaks down to would your rather have Freel bat with a runner on 1st or Phillips bat with a runner on 1st and 2nd. The thing I do not like about Freel is that if you watch him bat he always ends on his back foot which takes up some precious time and IMO Freel grounds into too many double plays for his speed. You could have gotten creative with a hit and run but a sac bunt in this sitaution was the right call.

Johnny Footstool
07-27-2007, 10:00 AM
I bunt. You are basically forcing the issue and it breaks down to would your rather have Freel bat with a runner on 1st or Phillips bat with a runner on 1st and 2nd. The thing I do not like about Freel is that if you watch him bat he always ends on his back foot which takes up some precious time and IMO Freel grounds into too many double plays for his speed. You could have gotten creative with a hit and run but a sac bunt in this sitaution was the right call.

There is a lot of data that says a sac bunt *isn't* the right call, despite what we've all been taught.

BRM
07-27-2007, 10:09 AM
Seeing as how Phillips is the team leader in GIDPs, the bunt was certainly a bit of a gamble. That said, I really didn't have much of a problem with it. Personally, I wouldn't have bunted but I'm not a major league manager. :)

TOBTTReds
07-27-2007, 10:59 AM
There is a lot of data that says a sac bunt *isn't* the right call, despite what we've all been taught.

A lot of that data is with an "average" hitter up to bat. Freel has been hitting below average this year. Him bunting probably gives him the same chance to get on base as if he were swinging.

This debate is what baseball is all about. There is no right answer, even if BP hits a gap double. There is no defined fact of what should have been done, even with a 1% difference in chance of winning. That's cool.

RedsManRick
07-27-2007, 11:36 AM
In my mind, the biggest failure of run expectency logic is that it's neutral to the player coming up. You have none out and Freel, Junior, Phillips, Dunn coming up. An extra base hit scores the runner. Does moving the runner over but guaranteeing an out really help you if it ends up denying a great hitter an at bat?

Of course, this is the exact scenario that makes the case for batting Dunn higher in the order. At the end of the day, it's about getting your best hitters the most at bats. We could've a batter with a great chance of either getting on base or getting an extra base hit and instead we had a guy up who's primary asset is speed.