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Thread: The sacrifice bunt

  1. #1
    getting younger alloverjr's Avatar
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    The sacrifice bunt

    Because I only pay attention to the Reds I have no idea if all of the other clubs do the same, but with the exception of the pitcher, why do the Reds and Dusty continue to bunt or attempt to bunt guys over from 2nd to 3rd with no outs? Giving up outs on purpose is just maddening to me. Did it twice tonight hoping for a sac fly and obviously neither panned out. The next guy up K's. Call it poor execution and/or great pitching but I simply don't know why you don't put confidence in the people you put on the field to at least hit the ball to right side to move the runner over. He might even get a hit to drive a run in or move him to 3rd with still no outs. Yeah he could pop out or ground out to 3rd with no advancement but in either scenario you're still talking about execution. I hate the old school approach that Dusty (and maybe every other manager) employs. Stop giving away outs when it's not necessary. Maybe this is off the same page as lefties can't hit lefties, fast guys lead off and only one guy can close for a team. Tough loss tonight against good pitching. Which IMO is another reason not to put the opposition 1 out closer to the end of an inning.
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  3. #2
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    I agree, bunting in that situation makes very little sense. Putting the ball in play would likely move the runner just as well.

  4. #3
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    I can't stand the sac bunt. Can't stand it. I can understand sac bunting with a bad hitting pitcher but not the rest of the lineup. I would rather have three outs to get a runner in from second than two outs to get a runner in from third base. JMO.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  5. #4
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    Execution is everything and each situation is unique. But the percentages part of my brain says if you are playing for just one run, getting that guy to 3rd with 1 out drastically improves your odds.

  6. #5
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    I can see bunting a runner over from 1st to 2nd late in a close game, I would never do it early in a game though.

    I'd never bunt runners over to 3rd from 2nd either.

  7. #6
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    Execution is everything and each situation is unique. But the percentages part of my brain says if you are playing for just one run, getting that guy to 3rd with 1 out drastically improves your odds.
    If you play for one run thats most likely all you'll get is one run.

    I might do it once in awhile late in a close game but I wouldn't make a habit out of giving away outs.

  8. #7
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    Never before trhe 7th inning and you are ahead or tied. And only to move a runner into scoring position and always with any pitcher not named Wood or Owings or Leake.

  9. #8
    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    It all depends on the situation.

    There are definitely times when the sac bunt is the best option, but it depends on the score of the game, the inning of the game, the pitcher, the defense, the hitters and runners involved, and sometimes even the weather.

    I think two good examples were in the game tonight against the Phillies.

    Tie game, late in the game is a good time to use it, especially when it's low scoring, or against a tough pitcher.

    In the first one, in the 8th, Cairo was on second, Stubbs up, Hanigan and Wood up next.

    Bad time to sacrifice. Even if it is successful, they are not going to give Hanigan anything good to hit with the pitcher on deck. You pretty much are forcing Hanigan to go out of his zone to put the ball in play, and thus increasing his K or pop up potential.

    Second time in the 10th. Bruce on second, Cairo up, with Stubbs and Hanigan and the pitcher's spot up next.

    Not a bad time to sacrifice, not the best, but the odds should be with you here. They should pitch to Stubbs here, and even if they don't, they have to pitch to Hanigan, since a pinch hitter is up next.

    Neither one worked out, but the second one had a better than 50/50 chance of working.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

  10. #9
    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    It all depends on the situation.

    There are definitely times when the sac bunt is the best option, but it depends on the score of the game, the inning of the game, the pitcher, the defense, the hitters and runners involved, and sometimes even the weather.

    I think two good examples were in the game tonight against the Phillies.

    Tie game, late in the game is a good time to use it, especially when it's low scoring, or against a tough pitcher.

    In the first one, in the 8th, Cairo was on second, Stubbs up, Hanigan and Wood up next.

    Bad time to sacrifice. Even if it is successful, they are not going to give Hanigan anything good to hit with the pitcher on deck. You pretty much are forcing Hanigan to go out of his zone to put the ball in play, and thus increasing his K or pop up potential.

    Second time in the 10th. Bruce on second, Cairo up, with Stubbs and Hanigan and the pitcher's spot up next.

    Not a bad time to sacrifice, not the best, but the odds should be with you here. They should pitch to Stubbs here, and even if they don't, they have to pitch to Hanigan, since a pinch hitter is up next.

    Neither one worked out, but the second one had a better than 50/50 chance of working.

    Maybe a better than 50/50 chance to get the runner to third.

    The odds of him scoring must be a lot higher than that.

  11. #10
    Red's fan mbgrayson's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    Want a sabermetric view of bunting?

    Check out "Empirical Analysis of Bunting"
    __________________
    “This one was a perfect one. I don’t know if I can find a better one, better timing. He [Price] really said some great things there. It really encouraged us to go back and do what we do. … I didn’t know he could speak like that.” Brayan Pena 5/21/14

  12. #11
    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Madden View Post
    Maybe a better than 50/50 chance to get the runner to third.

    The odds of him scoring must be a lot higher than that.
    That is one great point that most people miss, that you have to factor in the odds of actually advancing the runner.

    I was just guessing on the 50/50. I'd refer to the great article that mbgrayson just posted. It has most of the odds, and explains them very well.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

  13. #12
    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    Want a sabermetric view of bunting?

    Check out "Empirical Analysis of Bunting"
    That's a great find. I just bookmarked it.

    Thanks!
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

  14. #13
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    I hate the bunt. Except for some extreme "one run wins the game" situations, the only reds guys who should sacrifice are the pitchers, Janish, Cabrera, and Miller.
    "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

  15. #14
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    While the article shows that the spot in the batting order matters, the general relationships are all same as shown in the table below:

    Code:
    NL	   0	   1	   2
    ---	.261	.148	.061
    x--	.424	.268	.124
    -x-	.609	.400	.216
    xx-	.622	.413	.220
    --x	.814	.648	.267
    x-x	.847	.650	.275
    -xx	.838	.664	.267
    xxx	.860	.668	.315
    With no outs, giving up a run to go from 1st to 2nd slightly decreases your chances of scoring 1 run. From 2nd to 3rd you slightly increase your chance.

    However, as others have pointed out, this assumes perfect execution of the bunt. When you ask a guy to square and bunt, those slight changes are the bets case scenario. There's a not-insignificant chance of making the out without advancing the runner.

    What I hate about the bunt is that, unless you have a pitcher up, the guy at the plate has at least a 20% of getting a hit which is a MUCH better outcome than a successful bunt. And there's a decent chance that, even if he makes an out, it serves the same purpose as the bunt. Especially if you have a good offense, making outs on purpose is just bad baseball.

    Unfortunately, the bunt is used because of human irrationality and that irrationality isn't going away. We love to have control over things and, more importantly in this case, we stink at probability. We can't begin to keep all of the possible outcomes and their chances of occurring in our head. So we end up simplifying the model and over-weighting the outcomes we hope for. Unless you do the math and make up your mind ahead of time, your "intuition" is going to lead you down a path that makes sense emotionally, but not actually.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 07-11-2010 at 10:33 AM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  16. #15
    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: The sacrifice bunt

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    What I hate about the bunt is that, unless you have a pitcher up, the guy at the plate has at least a 20% of getting a hit which is a MUCH better outcome than a successful bunt. And there's a decent chance that, even if he makes an out, it serves the same purpose as the bunt. Especially if you have a good offense, making outs on purpose is just bad baseball.
    Great analysis, Rick. One other factor you failed to consider is the quality of the pitcher on the mound. Bunting against Roy Halladay is much different than bunting against your average pitcher...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."


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