View Full Version : When the sac bunt is really really stupid

big boy
07-14-2010, 12:24 PM
I am sorry if this was already posted but here is an interesting take from Rob Neyer about the 8th inning of the Wood near-no hitter.

It happened last Saturday in Philadelphia. Best pitching duel this season. For the Phillies, Roy Halladay. For the Reds, rookie Travis Wood. After seven innings, no score ... and no baserunners for the Phillies. Wood, in just his third major league start, was pitching a perfect game.

Halladay hadn't pitched as well, of course. Not quite: He'd given up one walk and three singles, two of which hadn't left the infield. But in the top of the eighth, Miguel Cairo, batting sixth, shot a double into right field.

The next three hitters due up: Drew Stubbs, catcher Ryan Hanigan ... and Travis Wood (who had batted twice and struck out twice).

For manager Dusty Baker, the choice seems to be fairly clear: Without any good left-handed hitters on his bench, give Stubbs and Hanigan their shots at driving in Cairo and simply hope for the best ... unless he's willing to pull Wood for a pinch-hitter.

An argument might be made for doing exactly that. While a perfect game (or no-hitter) would be a wonderful thing for everyone involved, Baker also has to worry about a little thing we like to call the pennant race, as the Reds still have legitimate hopes of acing out the Cardinals in the National League Central. Making history would be nice. Somehow winning the game would be nicer.

In the event, Baker didn't replace Wood with a pinch-hitter. He also didn't give Stubbs and Hanigan their shots. Instead, he ordered Stubbs to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Granted, Stubbs is exceptionally fast and the outcome might have left Cairo on third base and Stubbs on first base.

It didn't, though. Cairo was on third base but Stubbs was out.

Now, this is not the worst trade-off in the world. You can expect to score fewer runs with one out and a runner on third base than with no outs and a runner on second base ... but the difference is small, and gets smaller if you're really interested in scoring just one run.

The difference gets bigger, though, if one of the hitters coming up can't hit.

Ryan Hanigan can hit. He struck out anyway.

Travis Wood can't hit. He struck out, too.

Miguel Cairo died on third base.

All because Baker let his obsession with the 90 feet between second base and third base -- and, frankly, the natural tendency for managers to overmanage -- trump his awareness that one of the two hitters coming up next wasn't actually a hitter at all.

The sacrifice bunt isn't always a foolish move. For too long, people like me have been too quick to point out its negatives while ignoring its positives (especially its potential to turn into a bunt single or an error). Still, can't we agree that surrendering an out for one base doesn't make sense if one of the next two hitters is a pitcher? Can't we agree on that, if nothing else?

07-14-2010, 01:51 PM
Dusty doesn't know how to in game manage, this is NOT NEWS

07-14-2010, 05:52 PM
This is really just an article about how that writer doesnt like sac bunts.

Little does he know. Travis wood has actually shown he's no slouch when it comes to swinging the bat.

Now that the inning is over. It looks bad. But usually hanigan is one of our best contact hitters. Which would make him the top guy i would want up there to poke a ball to the outfield to score a sac fly.

The Voice of IH
07-14-2010, 05:58 PM
I've seen it all...people complianing about NOT taking a pitcher out during a perfect game :bowrofl::dancingco:drink:

07-14-2010, 06:43 PM
I HATE giving a free out at any time unless it's on a squeeze play late in a 1 run game. To give that out away with a runner on 2nd is a sin. You got 1 shot at a sac fly if you do manage to get him to 3rd, and that fly is not easy with the pitcher knowing what the hitter is up to.

The best move by a manager in these situations is to do NOTHING. Let the players play.

07-14-2010, 07:20 PM
Considering Drew Stubbs against Roy Halladay is pretty much an instant K, I would still take my chances of Hanigan putting the ball to the right side or Stubbs beating out the bunt against Stubbs getting a base hit or moving the guy over via an out.

Given the situation I really feel like its a 50/50 move.

07-14-2010, 08:43 PM
All the Dunn fans used to say a strike out is better than a ground out! LOL!!!!!!!

07-14-2010, 09:07 PM
All the Dunn fans used to say a strike out is better than a ground out! LOL!!!!!!!

I think it was a strikeout is better than a double play ground ball.