It was bad managing. Simple as that.
I wish it was as simple as "We won! Edwin hit a homer! All's well!"
Fact is, Dusty wanted to take the bat out of one of our best clutch hitter's hands essentially and make him do something he has never successfully done in his career - lay down a sac bunt.
If Dusty wanted to get the game to Votto so badly he would have put someone else in to lay down the sac. It was sooo obvious that EdE had no idea how to lay down that bunt it wasn't even funny.
Just because EdE stunk so bad at doing what Dusty wanted him to do that he actually got a chance to swing the bat does not excuse Dusty. I have never been a critic of his hiring. Still, this decision, made at a critical point in the game, was bad. No ifs ands or buts.
This post is BABIP-lucky.
I can see the logic either way (bunt the runners over or let the batter swing away). For the Dusty haters, you'll get more chances as the season progresses. As for this one, you need to pick your battles better. A LOT of managers would have bunted the runners over, not just Dusty. I do like Dusty's emotion though with dealing with player incompetence. You have to raise the bar a little to get results.
If you ain't first, you're last! - Ricky Bobby
Once again - I am NOT a Dusty hater. I just hated that call.
This post is BABIP-lucky.
Dusty is a moron, he does no tbelieve in Math opr statistics, that is called typical Americana which is why we are last or next to last in civilized countries in Math and Science. He has "feelings" whatever that is
The most obvious fact that everyone is overlooking was that before that swing, EE was swinging the bat terribly. He was in terrible slump all spring long, and had not had good at bats in the first two games until that homer. He had struck out looking in his last at bat, and looked like he had no idea what he was doing at the plate.
I could give a flying fig what his numbers were last year with RISP, until that at bat, he was in a bad, bad funk, so bad that both the ORG and the Sundeck had threads about sending him down to AAA. I would have had him bunt, but only because I had no confidence in him at, and there was plenty of reasons for me to have no confidence in him. A very smart thing to do with a player who is slumping is to have him bunt, so he can feel like he accomplished something and build his confidence. Dusty's quotes back up that this is what he was thinking. From Fay:
"You can't let him swing in that situation," Baker said. "He was struggling."
People say you don't want to give up outs, but when a guy is in the funk that EE was in, I think letting him swing away is giving up an out, and an unproductive one at that. It is easy to say knowing that he hit the homer that you should let him swing away, but seriously, how many people on his board thought he was going to get a hit in that at bat, and how many were thinking when he came up, "Crap, two men on, and EE has to bat." I have a feeling it was overwhelming the latter.
The debate that Cowboy and Thom were having, was not whether or not to have him swing away or bunt, but rather, do you have him bunt, or do you pinch hit for him.
That all being said, nearly any other hitter, I would have him swing away, but mostly because it was clear that Lyons had nothing tonight. I would bet that if EE had gotten the bunt down, Votto would have driven them in.
If you believe in the adage that you play for the tie at home and the win on the road, then Dusty's decision to have EdE bunt was a sound one. This is a link to a Run Frequency Matrix by Tangotiger. And this guys knows quite a bit about sabermetrics.
The RFM shows the likelihood of scoring a given amount of runs in a given inning under every out/baserunner situation.
For example if there are two outs and nobody on base the likelihood of scoring 0 runs is .923 (or 92.3%). In other words it is highly likely that a team isn't scoring any runs with two down and nobody on.
Now let's take a look at what effect a successful sacrifice bunt would have had.
The chart tells us that with runners on first and second and no outs a team scores two runs .165 (or 16.5%) of the time. A successful sacrifice bunt would have left the runners on second and third with one out. In that given situation a team can expect to score two runs .218 (or 21.8%) of the time.
Yes, statistically the Reds stood a greater chance of moving the game into extra innings with Edwin laying down a successful sacrifice bunt rather than by hitting away.
And the argument that EdE shouldn't be asked to bunt because he can't bunt holds no water. That a professional hitter with almost 2 1/2 years in the big leagues can't be expected to lay down a simple sacrifice bunt is farcical. Edwin knew he couldn't bunt last year. He should have worked hard to acquire that particular skill. Obviously the more skills a player possesses the more that player can help his team win games. Is Edwin too good to learn a skill that, as we have just seen, can help his team win games? I think not.
But hey, Edwin went deep and life is a bowl of cherries. Well at least until the next time that situation arises.
Good post; I know people around here hate bunting, and I do too in a lot of situations, but it was the right call if were going for the tie. Almost anytime a team has the tying run on 1st with no outs in the 9th, they are going to bunt.
However, the other side will say that this chart also shows that a team will score three runs, slightly more often if you let him swing away (.127 to .101). But that is a very slight edge, 2%, and around half as likely to happen as scoring two runs. Given the situation of the game: Reds home game; D-Backs had used their best relievers while the Reds had their closer and set up men available, it makes sense to go for the tie. That tiny 2% advantage of getting three runs pales in comparison to the huge advantage the Reds would have had to score one more run after the tie.
Great job TexasDave!
Then you're looking at Paul Bako to get them in.
AND, then everyone would complaing that Votto "took" the Walk, just like his mentor Adam Dunn:
I think that in a year or two, one of these guys - Frazier, Dorn, Valaika, Cumberland, Stubbs - will be ready to replace Dunn. They won't hit as many home runs as Dunn, but they should have similar OPS. - 757690, July 22, 2008
Alonso will be playing 1B for the REDS and batting 4th one year from today. - Kingspoint, July 9, 2009
All I can say is that the Reds won the game. If Dusty doesn't coach well, and we still win, I can't complain. It's not all about Dusty's coaching, it's about the clubhouse presence, and the respect the players show him.
Good point about the Reds having the top of their bullpen still ready to go, while the Snakes had pretty much burned theirs. Advantage Reds I have to believe.
A couple further points to consider. Edwin had a miserable spring with the stick and so far in five official trips to the plate had struck out three times and failed to get the ball out of the infield on the other two. Up until the blast he wasn't exactly swinging a hot stick. I am sure that was a consideration. If Encarnacion had been on a roll at the plate maybe Dusty lets him swing away.
To counter the argument that, if agreeing a bunt was necessary, Dusty should have pinch hit for EdE, I would suggest that since Dusty was playing for the tie he wanted Edwin in the game in extra innings. You don't want to burn a player in that situation. Every major league regular hitter should be able to move the runners along in that situation most of the time. It is not that difficult. If you have the hand-eye coordination to be a decent big league hitter - which Edwin clearly does - then you should be able to lay one down if the manager thinks it is called for.
Now if Dusty is playing for the win in that situation by all means send up someone else to bat for Edwin if you feel he can't do the job.
There are tons of variables to consider and a manager doesn't have to luxury of time to sit back and reflect. Many decisions have to be made on the fly. All managers will get some wrong. But the many variables, the game within the game, is what makes the baseball so interesting. At least for me. Fans get to think things through and discuss situations. I like that.