What are the odds of a double play with Phillips swinging away?
I think I'd trade an out for even a small increase in the likelihood of scoring a run in the 9th of a tie game with Chapman available to pitch the bottom of the inning.
"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS
Phillips gets a hit, say 27% of the time = 27% run
Phillips strikes out or whatever, say 70% (x42.9% run) of the time = 30%
Total of 57% chance of scoring vs. 69%. This is forgetting about double plays and productive outs for easy math.
Presumably Phillips already up 1-0 (and previous 8 balls) also increases the first scenario, and also option of running Hamilton. Also doesn't factor chances of an unsuccessful bunt. Could make overall total odds pretty close.
In the end, the bunt was a safe play, was likely to increase our chances of scoring. I think both options are defensible considering all of the items at play, and all considered odds of scoring might have been similar either way.
The bunt was the right play by the book and Phillips is a pretty good bunter, and put the bat in the hands of a better player. I think it was a perfectly defensible move and agree it is pretty well supported by the numbers, but I don't think to the extent you are suggesting.
Odds of an error or basehit on the bunt?
I just think it all ends up a wash.
When that IBB occurs, your Run probability drops from .698 to .679; versus an initial 1st and 2nd w/No Outs probability of .643. That means the probability gain is down to .036, which is completely washed away considering that you just took the bat out of your best hitter's hands; turning it over to a good, but less proficient hitter.
In short, the buntapalooza not only suppressed the likelihood of scoring multiple Runs that Inning, it also likely reduced their chances of scoring a single Run.
"The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer
"The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
If your mortgage depended on getting $1,000 to avoid losing your home and someone offered you the following two choices:
* Picking the correct card out of four options to get $5,000, or
* Picking the correct card when three of the four options are the winning pick but only get $1,000
Which is the smart bet? You go with the one that has the highest degree of probability you'll get what you need. In that case, you go with the lower amount of money but that one that has a much higher chance of paying off.
When an out is made 70% of the time, that means that seven out of 10 times, you will lose probability of scoring. It's not about gaining 5%, it's about playing the percentages of the most likely outcome. If you hit away, there is a 7 in 10 chance that you will have a negative outcome.
"No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda